Most of us love our sweets. Chocolate, cookies, ice cream…our mouths water just thinking about them. Unfortunately, more and more research suggests how dangerous excess sugar is.
The past year especially has seen a lot of attacks on sugar, from New York City, trying to ban large sodas, to sugar being called the new fat, or even the “new tobacco”.
Most of us know the truth: sugar can lead to weight gain, which is bad for your heart…but do we know just how bad?
In the recent study, which looked at the sugar consumption of tens of thousands of people in the US as well as death rates from heart-related problems, there was a significant link between the amount of sugar consumed and heart risk.
The CDC researchers found that people who got a quarter or more of their daily calories from added sugar were more than 3x more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who consumed less sugar.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that added sugar should make up less than 10% of total calorie intake. This is about 70g for men and 50g for women.
Unfortunately, some of our favorite foods are packed with sugar. A can of Coca-Cola has 7 teaspoons of sugar, a regular-sized milk chocolate bar between 5 and 7 teaspoons, and even Honey Nut Cheerios have 8.25 teaspoons of sugar per 100g.
Professor Naveed Sattar from the British Heart Foundation said there could be many reasons why people who eat lots of sugar became unhealthy.
“Of course, sugar per se is not harmful – we need it for the body’s energy needs – but when consumed in excess, it will contribute to weight gain and, in turn, may accelerate heart disease.”
Most adults and children in the US and the UK eat too much sugar, and need to cut back – Will you?
Photo Credit: Teresa Boardman on Flickr