Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sugar Identified as Heart Disease Risk

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook
We've always known that carbohydrates--not meat or fat--are the real risk for arterial and heart disease. But a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association points directly to sugar as a risk for bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The study found that sugar supresses HDL, or "good" cholesterol, and raises triglyceriedes, or fat in blood, as well as total cholesterol and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.

The American Heart Association last year recommended that all adults limit their intake of added sugar in foods. Unfortunately, a "Healthy Schools" bill that passed the D.C. Council this week did not include any limits on the astonishing amount of sugar fed to children in federally subsidized school meals. But there appears to be growing recognition that sugar in the foods that American routinely consume is dangerous.

Yahoo! published an excellent article yesterday describing the study as well as the difficulties involed in trying to focus only on sugars added to foods. Food labels to not disclose "added" sugar and many healthful foods do contain sugar naturally. For instance, a cup of milk contains 13 grams--about three teaspoons--of sugar in the form of lactose. But in school meals, flavored milks such as chocolate and strawberry get an additional three or four teaspoons of sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. A carrot naturally has five grams of sugar, a bit more than a teaspoon.

Our advice: avoid sugars of all kinds, but especially those in soft drinks and processed foods. Replace fruit juices with whole fruits.

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