Beware Added Sugar in Food and Drinks, Can Trigger Heart Disease! – Added sugar can be found everywhere, from soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, yogurt, cereals, pastries, cakes, candies, and most processed foods. And not only that, added sugar is also present in foods you might not find sweet, such as soups, breads, cured meats, and tomato sauce.

This ultimately makes us consume too much added sugar. Where according to the National Cancer Institute, adult men in America consume an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which is equivalent to 384 calories!

“The impact of excess sugar on obesity and diabetes is well known, but one thing that may surprise many men is how their sugar consumption can have a serious impact on heart health,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, launches from the Harvard Health page.

In a study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of death from heart disease.

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Over the course of the 15-year study, people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.

“Basically, the higher the added sugar intake, the higher the risk of heart disease,” says Dr. Huh.

How sugar actually affects heart health isn’t fully understood, but it appears to have some indirect links. For example, a high amount of sugar puts a strain on the liver.

“Your liver metabolizes sugar in the same way as alcohol, and converts dietary carbohydrates into fat,” says Dr. Huh.

Over time, this can lead to greater fat accumulation, which can turn into fatty liver disease, a contributor to diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease.

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Consuming too much added sugar can also raise blood pressure and promote chronic inflammation, both of which are pathological pathways for heart disease.