More studies are showing that sugar raises high blood pressure and escalates the risk of heart disease. A recently published study found that cutting sugar rapidly reduces the risk for heart disease. The average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, which is nearly 450 calories. Cutting down on added sugar can improve cardiovascular health.
For the study, published in Atherosclerosis, 37 obese children ranging in ages from 9 to 18 who were also at high risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Researchers gave each child food and drinks with equal calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates as what they were accustomed to eating.
However, the one change that occurred was the levels of added sugar in each meal. Instead of having sweets or sodas, the researchers gave the children pizza or bagels. The substitution dropped their sugar intake from 28% to 10% and fructose decreased from 12% to 4% of total calories.
The researchers found that cutting sugar rapidly reduces the risk for heart disease. In only nine days, the children dropped their triglycerides by 33%, had a reduction of proteins called apoC-III that correlate with triglyceride levels by 49% and lowered their amounts of LDL cholesterol by a significant amount.
Triglycerides and LDL cholesterol increase the risk for heart disease significantly. Both clog arteries and blood vessels, slowing down blood flow and leading to serious medical issues.
This study is significant because the only aspect of the children’s’ diet the researchers changed was the amount of added sugar they consumed. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein did not affect their level of risk for heart disease like sugar did.
Children are still developing and need help from their parents to learn how to make correct dietary choices to reduce their health risks as they age. Adults that are at risk for heart disease can also change their diet will simple substitutions.