Study: Added sugar in soda, candy, deserts really bad for the heart

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DENVER -- We always knew sugar could be bad for your waist line.

But a new study says it can be really bad for your heart.

The study published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine says excess sugar can double your odds of dying from heart disease.

The study looked at 30,000 Americans.

It found soda and other sugary drinks were the number one source for added sugar, followed by deserts, fruit drinks and candy.

"I've been drinking it (soda) all my life and I'm going on 70. So, it's not killed me," says Steven Biggs of Denver.

He craves sugar—in soda and candy.

"In fact, I have a piece of candy in my mouth right now," he laughs.

It’s added sugar—sometimes just the added sugar in two 12-ounce Cokes--that puts him at the highest risk of death from heart disease, according to a new study.

It’s the first study to take into account people’s weight, age, health, exercise and diet.

"People try to fool themselves, I can have 2 cans of soda. I got out to exercise today. That study confirmed that it's the intake of sugar, not exercise, not your weight, that puts you at risk," says Dr. Richard Collins of South Denver Cardiology Associates in Littleton.

The study shows 71.4% of U.S. adults consume more than the recommended 10% of their daily calories form added sugars in food and drinks.

And 10% consume so much sugar, they’re doubling their risk of dying from heart disease.

It doesn’t take much to increase your sugar calories.

One 20-ounce soda equals 15% of your daily sugar calories based on a 2,000 calorie diet. That translates into 18-percent higher risk of death.

Remember you want to stay below 10%.

"Sit down and figure out how much processed sugar you're having. Start adding it up on a daily basis. 'Hey, I'm in a toxic range,'" says Dr. Collins.

And don’t forget food with hidden sugar, like bread, salad dressing and tomato sauce.

"There are not many things to give up, sugar is my only vice," says Biggs.

He says the study won’t scare him from sweets.

"I'm on my way to help a friend a little bit and I'll stop and have a Coke," he says.

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5 comments

  • Judith Underwood

    It should be apparent that the majority of people do not care what the doctors or media have to say. Perhaps the only problem is in the mind of the doctors and media. We know that no one leaves this life alive. Heart disease, cancer, accidents, wars, violence are just some of the ways no matter what any of us do. So very tired of hearing about “doing what is healthy”. I happily CHOOSE chocolate and desserts.
    Mind your own business and I’ll mind mine.

  • Codswallop Hogwash

    I suspect there is a lot more to this issue than is being said. I have always had a sweet tooth, love candy and deserts. My doctor thinks that I have no signs of heart problems at all. I also exercise and try to watch what I eat, but the underlying factor is genetics.

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