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Sugar: Looking Worse

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

Sugar is one of those things that so many of us love, that is so fun to eat, that it remains hard to believe it actually causes serious harm.

But readers of Real Answers with Dr. Lavin may remember that over the years, there have been a number of posts that document what is meant by harm from sugar.

Now comes a new report, looking at the incidence of serious dangers, such as heart disease, even dying at an earlier age, in relation to eating sugar.

This report looks at just one of the many ways we can eat sugar, namely, drinking it.  The drinks studied are sugar containing pop.

Before this study, we knew if you drank pop or juice, you would be more likely to have cavities, to have livers injured by fat accumulation, and to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Now, this study shows if you drink pop with sugar you will be more likely to develop heart disease, and worst of all, live a shorter life.

The study was published in the journal of the American Heart Association, Circulation.  

In it, over 100,000 people were studied.  Two groups were compared in these over 100,000 people.  One group drank an average of 2 drinks of pop with sugar, the other group rarely drank sugary pop.

The group that did drink pop with sugar had an increased chance of suffering heart disease, 31% increased chance.  And the sugar drinking group had a mortality rate that was 28% higher.

Then a group at Emory looked at the experience of 13,440 adults living in the South.

They found that people drinking pop with sugar in it, or even natural fruit juices, increased their chance of dying of heart disease, by 44%!    The studied group had an average age of 63 years old.

Not surprisingly, studies done by groups associated with the manufacturers of pop with sugar suggest there is no harm and dispute these findings.

But over time, the evidence keeps piling up.  Sugar, specifically the sugar called fructose, can cause harm.  As detailed in the last post on sugar from Real Answers, fructose is the sugar found in fruits.  It is combined with glucose to make sucrose, the sugar in candy.  The safe level of intake is about 40 pounds a year, which equals 1 Snicker bar a day.  An apple has 1/10th the sucrose of a Snickers bar.  The point is it’s safe to eat fructose in fruits, but not in candy, soda, even juice, there simply is too much fructose in these foods.

BOTTOM LINES

  1. We all love sugar, it’s sweet, many people feel happy when they eat it.
  2. But the evidence is convincing, too much sugar is truly harmful- diabetes, heart disease, now early death.
  3. One gets to too much sugar in a hurry if you eat candy, drink sugar containing soda, or even drink natural juices.
  4. Eating fruit remains quite safe.

It really is time to take added sugars out of our daily diets.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

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