Is Sugar Bad for Your Heart?
Sugar is a little-known driver of heart disease which, by the way, is the #1 killer of men and women.
Being sedentary, drinking too much, and smoking are identified as risk factors while sugar flies under the radar. But it shouldn’t!
The science linking sugar to cardiovascular disease is exploding. Peer review medical journals are publishing articles that point to the fact that the real ‘silent killer’ is not heart disease nor high blood pressure but sugar itself. Our organs are not malfunctioning, they are being damaged.
To quote Dr. Hu from Harvard’s School of Public Health:
"Excess sugar's impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented, but one area that may surprise many is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dr. Hu goes on to say, "Basically, the higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the risk for heart disease.”
Here is another quote from the Open Heart Medical Journal published in 2017:
“Any dietary factor that worsens glucose tolerance or promotes insulin resistance will also increase the risk of acute Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Heart Disease, and CHD mortality. …The overconsumption of added sugars is undoubtedly a contributing factor to Coronary Heart Disease and Cardiovascular Disease mortality.”
The question then becomes, how much sugar is too much sugar?
According to the WHO, more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men puts us at risk of developing disease.
How much is 6 teaspoons? That is half a can of soda, half a hamburger bun at most fast-food restaurants, or flavored yogurt.
In other words, it doesn’t take much to exceed our maximum daily limit.
You might think, that’s too restrictive, too extreme. But the truth is no one gets away with excess sugar consumption. Sooner or later, it catches up with us. And for some of us, it shows up in the form of cardiovascular disease. For others, something equally horrible.
How do refined carbs damage our hearts? The answer is complex and multi-layered, but basically, it comes down to this…
Sugar raises our blood sugar, insulin levels, blood pressure, and inflammatory markers. It leads to lipid disorders such as elevated LDL and Triglycerides which cause the formation of plaque in arteries. It elevates cortisol and adrenaline which stresses the vascular system. It demineralizes the body leading to heart muscle issues, causes swelling in the nerves and narrowing of arteries, leads to obstructive fat accumulation, not to mention obesity and diabetes which places strain on the heart, and more.
In short, if you have heart disease or are looking to avoid heart disease, here is another life-saving reason to ditch the white stuff (sugar/flour/refined carbs).
Your heart deserves whole foods and so do you!
You can do this!
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