Sugar is bad for you

Sugary treats like cakes, cookies, and candies are all associated with celebrating...

They’re a staple, whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or holiday.

And that’s okay. After all, a special occasion calls for a special treat.

However, with the amount of sugar we consume... we’ve turned EVERY DAY into a special occasion.

In fact, the average American eats 150 to 170 pounds of sugar a year. To put that in perspective, think about a 5-pound bag of sugar.

We’re eating 30 to 34 of those bags each year.1


And all this excess sugar is extremely dangerous to your health.

Now, the effect of sugar intake on obesity and diabetes is well known. But it turns out... it also impacts your heart.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine followed people for 15 years. The researchers found people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from sugar not only had an increased risk of heart disease...


Their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 38% higher.2

So the higher your sugar intake, the greater your risk of heart disease.

Now, I want to be clear:

It’s not your fault.

You see, a lot of the sugar we consume is a well-kept “secret” hidden in processed and packaged foods. In fact, 75% of packaged foods contain extra added sugar.3

Now, you can easily cut down on the sugar you KNOW you’re eating... for instance, using 1 teaspoon with your coffee instead of 2. But how do you reduce the amount of “secret” sugar in your diet?

Well, the first step is finding out WHERE it’s hiding. So here are 3 quick tips on how to spot “secret” sugar:

Secret Sugar Spotter #1: Read the nutrition guides

When you’re shopping, check the nutrition guide on all the food you’re buying — not just the sweets. You’ll find “hidden” sugar in foods you’d NEVER suspect, like:

And if some of your favorite foods are packed with sugar... try to cut down how often you’re eating them. Or, if it’s a “staple” like bread, look for a brand that has less sugar.

Now to really get the most out of reading labels, be sure to follow this next tip...

Secret Sugar Spotter #2: Know the “aliases” of sugar

Food companies often “disguise” the amount of added sugar in their products by using other names. Here are just a few of them:

  • Corn syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Buttered syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Corn sweetener
  • Malt syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • And anything that ends in “ose,” like: sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, and maltose.


Now, that’s just a small selection — sugar goes by at least 61 names. If you get a chance, search online for “other names for sugar.” You’ll be shocked at how many come up!

Secret Sugar Spotter #3: Don’t be fooled by “healthy snacks”

Many snacks marketed as healthy choices often contain a startling amount of the sweet stuff. Watch out for:

I hope you give these tips a try. Hidden sugar is something we all need to be aware of...

Because when you can find it… you can cut down on it. And then you’ll be taking a huge step toward the healthier life you deserve.

To great days ahead,

Dr. B

Sources:
1Not So Sweet — The Average American Consumes 150-170 Pounds of Sugar Each Year. Health and Nutrition. Bamboo Core Fitness. Accessed May 19, 2018. https://bamboocorefitness.com/ not-so-sweet-the-average-american-consumes-150-170-pounds-of-sugar-each-year/
2Ng, S. W., Slining, M. M., & Popkin, B. M. (2012). Use of caloric and non-caloric sweeteners in US consumer packaged foods, 2005–9. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(11), 1828–1834.e6. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.07.009
3The sweet danger of sugar. Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. May, 2017.
4Loney, S. 25 Ways Eating Sugar Is Making You Sick. Reader’s Digest. April, 2018.


Author
Arash Bereliani, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.C. Beverly Hills Institute For Cardiology & Preventive Medicine

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Fitness Tracker Craze

Dr. Bereliani answers the 3 most common questions about fitness trackers. Will a fitness tracker help me get fit, Do I HAVE to do 10,000 steps a day and What kind of fitness tracker works best?

Does “Bringing Sexy Back” Raise Risk of Heart Attack?

Your heart maybe unusually susceptible to sexual activity. If you experience shortness of breath or other difficulty in breathing, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat after sex, these are symptoms of an underlying problem. See your cardiologist.

The Obesity Paradox

Discussion of the obesity paradox that states people diagnosed with heart disease lived longer if they were overweight or obese compared with people who were normal weight at the time of their diagnosis.

President Trump Has Heart Disease

Dr. Bereliani, a leading preventive cardiologist has the opinion that, President Trump has heart disease. Even though his overall health is average, his overall risk for a cardiac event (heart attack) within the next 3-5 years is relatively high.