Remember those 5 tips we gave you last week to escape from sugar’s trap? Well, take them to heart. Your heart will be grateful. For research continues to point to sugar – not fat and cholesterol – as a leading factor when it comes to stroke and heart disease.
Just this month, a study in the Journal of Nutrition looked at the link between sugary drinks and stroke risk. The researchers
followed 32,575 women aged 49−83 and 35,884 men aged 45−79 without cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes at baseline. The consumption of sweetened beverages, including sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks and juice drinks, was assessed by using a food-frequency questionnaire. Stroke cases were ascertained by linkage to the Swedish Inpatient Register and the Swedish Cause of Death Register.
Overall, they found convincing evidence that the risk of stroke is in fact greater for people who regularly drink sweetened beverages of any kind.
This comes on the heels of a paper in Atherosclerosis this past March, which reviewed several earlier prospective studies on the relationship between sugary drinks and heart disease. They found that “a one-severing per day increase in sugar sweetened beverages consumption was associated with a 16% increased risk of [coronary heart disease].”
Think about that for a moment. One 12 ounce can of soda. Thirty to 40 grams of added sugar. Risk up.
While it can be hard to avoid all added sugars completely, you can be smart about what you eat and drink. Beware of health halos. Added sugars and flavors can crop up in juice drinks and other seemingly “healthier” beverages. Just 8 ounces of Sobe Mango Melon will give you nearly as much sugar (29 grams) as your typical soda. Eight ounces of Nesquik chocolate milk will give you the same.
Yes, a cold bottle of soda can be very tempting on a hot, summer day, but in the end, a glass of water will be more refreshing, rejuvenating, and a whole lot better for your bod.
Image by Nate Grigg, via Flickr