Fats have taken a back seat to sugar in the war on heart disease. The latest research indicates that large amounts of added sugar in your diet can significantly increase your risk of dying from heart disease.
In a study published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA: Internal Medicine, individuals who got 17 to 21 percent of their calories from added sugar more than doubled their risk of developing heart disease. This is compared to those who got only 8 percent of their calories from added sugar.
As a result, the Food and Drug Administration is now recommending a cap on sugar consumption of 12.5 teaspoons, or about 10 percent of daily calories. Most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day. Are you one of them? Find out how you can cut or reduce the sugar in your diet.
The Challenge? Knowing Where Sugar Lurks
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, lemonade, iced tea and fruit juices/drinks
- Ready-to-eat cereals
Watch What You Drink
A can of regular soda has 35 grams of sugar, equivalent to almost 9 teaspoons or 140 calories (1 gram of sugar contains 4 calories, and there are 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon). Reducing or cutting out soda, fruit juices, and sports and energy drinks as well as flavored waters, sweetened teas and sugary coffee drinks can go a long way toward minimizing your sugar intake.
Read Your Labels
To determine how much sugar a product has, check the Nutrition Facts Panel. Sugar grams will be listed under “Carbohydrates.” Be sure to also note the serving size of a food or beverage, as many have more than one serving per package or bottle.
Keep in mind that added sugars are not the same thing as sugars that occur naturally in fruits, vegetables or unsweetened dairy products.
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