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Study says that eating sugar can increase fat deposits around the heart

Published on:29 June 2020, 18:30pm IST
Sugar in moderation might not harm you, but if you over-consume this sweet devil, then your heart health is going to go for a toss.
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Too much sugar is not good for your heart. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Chances are that you already know what we are about to tell you, but we’re going to tell you anyway—because you need to hear it. Sugar is really bad for your heart. And not just because it messes with your body’s ability to process triglycerides and makes you gain weight. Rather, the latest research suggests that sugar engulfs your heart with fat deposits.  

According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, sugar consumption is linked with larger fat deposits around the heart and in the abdomen, both of which are risky for health.

“When we consume too much sugar, the excess is converted to fat and stored. This fat tissue located around the heart and in the abdomen releases chemicals into the body which can be harmful to health,” said study author So Yun Yi from the University of Minnesota in the US.

“Our results support limiting added sugar intake,” Yi added.

sugary drinks and heart disease
Cola isn’t what your body really craves. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Cola and processes fruit juices are loaded with sugar
The researchers analysed the association between long-term sugar consumption of soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sugar added to foods and beverages and found that it can lead to fat storage around the heart and other organs.

Data was obtained from Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), an ongoing cohort study in the US that includes centres in Alabama, California, Illinois, and Minnesota.

A total of 3,070 healthy participants aged 18 to 30 were included in this study.

More sugar means more fat around your heart
For the study, the food and beverage intakes were measured three times over a 20-year period (1985 to 2005). After 25 years (in 2010) computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest and abdomen were performed to measure fat volumes in the abdomen and around the heart.

depression and heart health
Sugar and your heart are not friends. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The researchers found that sugar intake over the 20-year period was related to fat volumes later in life. Higher intakes of both sugar-sweetened beverages and added sugar were related to greater fat stores around organs in a stepwise fashion, the study showed.

“Our findings provide more evidence that consuming too much added sugar and sugary drinks is related to a higher amount of fat tissue,” said study author Dr Lyn Steffen from the University of Minnesota.

Steffen added:

And, we know that fat deposits are connected with higher risks of heart disease and diabetes.

The researchers advised reducing the amount of added sugar consumed each day.

“Have water instead of sugary drinks and choose healthier snacks over foods rich in added sugar like cakes,” the authors wrote.

So, even if you are a sweet tooth then look for alternate options like jaggery or honey that can satiate you. And the more you stay away from all these sugary drinks, the better the outlook for your heart. 

(With inputs from IANS)

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