A new study has been providing even more proof that sugar is bad for your health. The study, which was published in the journal BMC Medicine, found that people are more likely to get heart disease and stroke if they eat a diet high in free sugars. Free sugars are the sugar that is added to processed foods and sodas, as well as the sugar in fruit juice and syrups.
The study used information about the eating habits of more than 110,000 people in the UK who were between the ages of 37 and 73. Their health was then tracked for about nine years. The findings suggested that a person was at an increased risk of heart disease by 6% and stroke by 10% for every 5% increase in their total energy intake from free sugars.
Cody Watling, a doctoral student at the University of Oxford and the study’s author, said that preserves and confectionary, which included cookies, sugary pastries, and scones, were the most common types of sugar consumed by study participants. He added that desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages, and fruit juice were also common. Natural sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables were excluded from the analysis because they are not considered free sugars.
The UK Biobank, a massive database of health records, provided Watling and his team with data that included multiple diet assessments of participants. The assessments were analyzed by the researchers to estimate the participants’ carbohydrate consumption, which was then further broken down by type of carbohydrate to concentrate on free sugars.
The authors then made a comparison between that and the participants’ rates of cardiovascular disease. According to Watling, the individuals with the highest risk of heart disease or stroke consumed 18% of their daily energy intake, or approximately 95 grams of free sugar.
The US guidelines recommend that added sugars should not exceed 10% of a person’s daily calorie intake. Walter Willett, a Harvard University professor of epidemiology and nutrition, stated, Probably the single most important thing people can do is not drinking beverages that are sweetened with sugar.
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