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New study: Be good to your HEART by saying NO to sugar

Make room, salt and cholesterol, sugar is now an official bad guy for your heart. The American Heart Association says it's time to say no to your sweet tooth and cut your sugar intake. Right now, the average American consumes a little over 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.
The thinking behind the recommendations boils down to simple arithmetic. Americans are taking in 150 to 300 more calories a day than they did 30 years ago. We're not doing more to burn those calories, so it's pretty likely that extra sugar is at least part of the reason Americans are so much fatter today, the AHA concludes.
Obesity and diabetes, also related to weight gain, are risk factors for heart disease. There's also some evidence, though it's inconclusive, that sugar may raise blood pressure directly.
Where to start cutting? About half the increase in calories over the last 30 years comes from drinks, mostly sugar-sweetened beverages. So the AHA suggests you drop the sugary sodas right off the bat. As it points out, a 12-ounce can of regular cola has about 8 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 130 calories, and that alone is enough to push most women past the recommended limit.
Other significant sources, in descending order, are table sugar and candy; cakes, cookies and pies; fruit drinks; dairy desserts and milk products, including ice cream; and processed-grain foods, such as cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles. And it's not just old-fashioned sugar that's taking a hit; the AHA recommends cutting down on any sweetener that boosts calories, such as high-fructose corn syrup, which has replaced old-fashioned sugar from cane or beets in so many products.
Source: NPR Health Blog, By Scott Hensley, August 25th 2009
Dr. Iverson's Comment
It’s about time! Cholesterol and saturated fat have been the bad guys for too long! May the real culprit step forward: SUGAR!  
Our ancestors have been eating meat and eggs and high fat foods for thousands of years and they benefited by maintaining healthy hearts and brains. Why is there such an epidemic of cardio-vascular disease occurring now? It is because of the mass processing of foods, particularly the mass use of sugar sweetened foods occurring over the last 100 years, that we are becoming a sick nation.
When high sugar foods are ingested, insulin, the hormone secreted from the pancreas for sugar balance, tries to utilize the sugar by pushing it into the cells or converting it to fat. Well, as you can imagine the body can only utilize so much sugar so the rest gets converted to fat and this is where the problem begins. After being secreted over and over and over meal after meal after meal the insulin becomes insensitive and then diabetes is right around the corner. Basically, the body is overrun with food that is too concentrated in processed sugars and carbohydrates. 
Cutting back sugar will cut back calories (which the benefits are written about in the other article this month) and will also cut back on the secretion of insulin which will improve blood sugar levels and ultimately prevent heart disease.  Enjoy your treats on an occasion and do your best to avoid concentrated sugars as part of your daily diet.
Be well!
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