February is American Heart Month, when the nation spotlights heart health. Since childhood, we’ve associated February with Valentine’s Day and sharing sweets, but now we’re learning that added sugars are not so great for the heart.
- A new study now points the finger directly at “added sugar” as the biggest culprit for cardiovascular disease. “Added sugars,” or “free sugars,” are the sugars and syrups added to foods during processing. Sodas, desserts, and energy and sports drinks are the top sources of added sugars for most people in the U.S.
- We’re often told to avoid fatty foods and limit calories, but less attention is given to added sugars.
- Added sugar intake can promote inflammation in the body, which is the main culprit underlying most health conditions. It also causes insulin spikes that lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Awareness is the first step to reducing risk; nutrition labels are our friend. Many restaurants, especially chains, are now publishing nutritional facts for all menu items.
- Whole sugars found in whole fruits, veggies, and whole grains, are not nearly as much of an issue.
Check out the video below that I recently did on YouTube, where I take a deep dive into the effect of sugar on your tummy!
I hope you’ve had a great February!