Turns out by limiting your sugary beverages you might just be helping your heart. A new study published in the journal Circulation finds that men who drank just one sugar sweetened drink a day had a 20% higher risk of heart disease than those who didn’t drink these beverages according to Harvard School of Public Health professor of nutrition and epidemiology Frank Hu, MD, PhD who lead the study.
This research supplies strong evidence that the higher intake of sugar-sweetened drinks is a key risk factor for heart disease. Even moderate intake, as little as one drink a day, is not safe.
The finding is based on the examination of almost 43,000 men who were taking part in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The team had conducted a similar study with women from the Nurses’ Health Study where there was also found to be a link between heart disease and the intake of sugar sweetened beverages. A similar finding in male subjects enhances the validity of the first findings.
Hu and the team asked the male subjects, aged 40 to 75, to supply details on their beverage drinking habits. During the period from January 1986 to December 2008 the participants reported on what they ate and other health habits every two years. They also gave a blood sample halfway through the study. During the 22-year study there were 3,683 heart attacks.
The researchers then broke the men into four groups based on how many sugary beverages they drank – no sugar sweetened drinks, drinking sugary drinks two times a month, drinking these beverages one to three times a week, drinking sugar sweetened drinks from nearly four times a week to as many as nine times a day. Those falling into this intake level were considered daily drinkers, the group 20% more likely to have had a heart attack than the non-drinkers.
The number held up even after accounting for other things known to impact heart disease risk. Age, smoking status, amount of exercise, intake of alcohol, diet quality, weight and even family history.
When Hu’s team examined the blood samples, they saw that men who drank sugary drinks daily had higher indicators for heart disease than the non-drinkers did. The daily drinkers had high levels of blood fats known as triglycerides, and lower levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. Both triglycerides and low HDL are risk factors for heart disease.
Why the link between sugary drinks and heart disease? No one can say for sure, but there are three things that could be contributing.
1. increased body weight is an immediate after effect of drinking sugar-sweetened drinks.
2. impact on blood fats – increasing triglycerides and decreasing good cholesterol.
3. increasing inflammatory indicators associated with heart disease such as C-reactive protein. This and several other studies have seen this effect.
Weight Loss Expert Loses 70lbs of Ugly Fat…
Discover how this weight loss expert lost 70lbs Of Ugly Belly Fat after discovering 1 really old and kinda weird tip!
And even better than that, they ate all of the foods they enjoy, and still lost all the weight they wanted to.
No magic pills… no fad diets… no calorie-counting…
It’s the best tip for real-world weight loss and it can help you finally get that trim, toned body you’ve been looking for…
Discover more about this amazing method here…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*
Just One Sugary Drink A Day Brings Higher Risk Of Heart Disease… Continued…
There was no link between artificially sweetened diet drinks and heart disease. This doesn’t mean the diet variety of your favorite beverage is a healthy alternative. These drinks have not as yet been widely studied.
Industry group the Sugar Association continues to argue that sugar is not the main culprit in heart disease, but rather overall lifestyle choices carry more weight than a single food or drink. Disputing the study, they point out that the high intake group covered a very wide range of intakes. They feel it is more sensible to look at fighting obesity, and reducing risk of heart disease, by focusing on the whole diet – reducing calories and getting more exercise.
The American Beverage Association offered a statement on the study subjects, claiming they were nearly all white and of European descent so that the findings may not apply to the general population. Also, factors such as stress (a recognized risk of heart disease) were not accounted for by the researchers. They go on to point out that the study finds only an association between sugary drinks and heart disease, not cause and effect.
Hu believes that if you love sugary beverages you don’t have to give them up completely. Just limit your intake to one or two a week. Consider these drinks a treat, not a regular event.