Too much sugar can boost your risk of stroke and heart disease
Stroke: CDC outlines the main signs and how to respond
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Considered the leading cause of death globally, cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that target your heart and blood vessels. Fortunately, research continues to suggest that your risk of these deadly conditions is modifiable. Now, a new study warns that free sugars could lay the path leading to heart diseases and strokes.
From pairing biscuits with your cup of tea to eating chocolate squares when the midday slump hits, Britons are guilty of enjoying sugary treats.
In fact, the average person in the UK gets about 12 percent of their daily calories from free sugar.
According to the NHS, adults should have no more than 30 grams of free sugar a day, which is roughly equivalent to seven sugar cubes.
Worryingly, people often eat more than this, with just a can of sugary drinks containing more than this amount, Blood Pressure UK explains.
READ MORE: Heart attack breakthrough as scans could identify patients at risk ‘years’ in advance
Now, a new study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, raises a warning finger over your intake of free sugar.
Eating too much of these culprits could hike your risk of serious health problems like strokes and heart diseases.
In case you aren’t aware, free sugars describe those added during the processing of foods – think table sugar and other sweeteners.
However, they also occur in syrups, honey, fruit juice, vegetable juice, purees, pastes and similar products in which the cellular structure of the food has been broken down, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The good news is that free sugars don’t include sugars naturally found in dairy, whole fruits and vegetables.
Professor Tim Key, co-author of the study from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University, said: “These findings suggest free sugar in general, and not just fizzy drinks, are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and strokes.
“Those with a sweet tooth can get non-free sugar from fruit, which is much healthier.”
The researchers looked at more than 110,000 people from the UK Biobank, who participated in two to five 24-hour online dietary assessments.
READ MORE: £3m miracle gene cure saves baby but it’s too late to save sister with same condition
The volunteers had to log their dietary habits multiple times within each 24-hour period.
After over nine years of follow-up period, the research team found that total carbohydrate intake wasn’t associated with cardiovascular disease.
However, they noticed that higher free sugar intake was associated with an increased risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
The more free sugars the participants consumed, the greater their risk of heart disease and stroke was.
The study suggested that if people replaced just five percent of their daily calories that come from free sugar with the likes of fruit and vegetables, they could see their risk of stroke fall by nine percent.
Furthermore, a higher intake of free sugars was also linked with higher concentrations of triglycerides – a type of fat found in butter, high-fat dairy products and fried foods.
Having high levels of triglycerides can boost your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease.
If you want to cut down on your intake of free sugar, Blood Pressure UK recommends the following:
- Swap sugary drinks for water or sugar-free options
- Avoid breakfast cereals with added sugars, or adding extra sugar on top
- Use mashed banana instead of jam or honey on toast
- Avoid ready-made sauces, such as pasta sauce (they tend to have sugar added to them)
- Check the labels as seemingly healthy snacks, such as cereal bars, can often have lots of added sugar in them.
Source: Read Full Article