The latest Harvard research review is confirming what everyone feared, there are negative effects associated with sweetened drinks on our heart health. It has been known that they have negative effects, but most of us did not associate them with heart conditions. The review by Vasanti Malik, a nutrition research scientist from Harvard, points out that taking one or two servings of sweetened drinks increases your risk of a heart attack. This is not the only effect, this sugar also puts the consumer at risk of a stroke and type 2-diabetes. According to the review, reducing the intake may not solve the problem but it is one step towards reducing the risk.

Heart Health And Sugar Don’t Mix

heart healthThe review puts a new focus on heart health risks; previously the main attention was on fat and cholesterol reduction. The impact of sugar was not very profound; with this report, people need to start paying serious attention to what beverages they consume on a daily basis. The understanding that sweetened drinks have similar effects as cholesterol and fats is an eye opener. Perhaps this will make people reduce their intake or get rid of sweetened drinks altogether. One of the most widely consumed sweetened drinks is soda; it is known to contain 35 grams of sugar, an equivalent of nine teaspoons.

Glucose and fructose are the culprits; they both cause heart diseases among other conditions. Glucose causes your level of insulin to rise, an effect that leads to the development of type 2-diabetes. Fructose apart from causing heart disease also triggers the liver to release bad cholesterol. When fructose is consumed in large quantities it can cause fatty liver disease and production of excess uric acid in the blood system, this is the main cause of heart disease, gout, and inflammatory arthritis. For those who may be worried about belly fat, consumption of fructose has been associated with its accumulation. Accumulation of belly fat is a directly associated with dysfunctional heart health.

Beverage Manufacturers Challenge The Claims

Malik’s review, as expected has been challenged by the beverage makers; they claim that the report unfairly targets their industry. They argue that the same zeal that the researchers condemn sweetened sugars should be applied to product sugars since the body process both of them in a similar way.

The researchers are sticking to their ground and they insist that the processed sugar is absorbed rapidly in the body increasing the chances of harming the body organs. The United States Department of Agriculture proposes that manufacturers will be required to identify the amount of sugar in the product in relation to that which occurs naturally. Consumers have been urged to avoid added sugars until such measures have been put in place.

Inspired by consumer.healthday.com

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