Heart disease is one of the leading killers in the world.
Truth is it’s the leading cause of death in the United States. That’s sobering, isn’t it?
Now let me ask you, if you could do something to help lower the risk, would you? I’m not saying you have to do anything extreme here. No marathons, or expeditions on Mt. Everest to better condition your heart.
Mainly just simple dietary changes.
And the one I’m about to suggest won’t just help protect your heart, it’d probably change your life in a wide-variety of other ways.
Ready for it? Ditch processed sugar from your diet.
Sugar tastes great but wreaks havoc on your health. We already know it’s linked to conditions like Type II Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, arthritis…
And new evidence shows a high sugar diet might also be a contributing factor to heart disease.
A recent study showed when people switched over to a high-sugar diet for just 3 months the negative effects it had on their metabolism and their heart health was dramatically increased.
The research on this link between sugar and heart health was conducted by the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom and published in the journal Clinical Science.
In their study they came to realize sugar doesn’t harm the heart first. Instead, sugar alters how a person’s liver deals with fat.
The livers of those who were on a high-sugar diet behaved as if the subjects had developed a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). When a person has NAFLD their liver is coated in layers of fat and this is known to have a negative effect on metabolism and cardiovascular health.
Here’s how they came to find out a high-sugar diet can lead to heart damage.
The researchers took a group of 25 healthy men and split them into two groups.
Both groups of men were asked to follow a diet that had the same amount of calories.
The only difference was one group had 26% of their total consumed calories coming from high-sugar food sources. The other group had only 6% of their calories coming from high-sugar sources.
Then they had each group switch diets with the other group and see what happened.
This “randomized cross-over,” gave the researchers an opportunity to see if the diets themselves would affect how fat built up on the liver, and if it would produce symptoms similar to NAFLD.
And boy did it ever…
Medical News Today wrote:
“The team wanted to find out whether the amount of fat in the liver affects how sugar consumption influences cardiovascular health. The liver plays an important role in fat metabolism, or the process through which fats are transported and broken down for use in cells throughout the body.
The researchers compared changes in various biomarkers of fat metabolism, including lipids and cholesterol in the blood, in the two groups as they followed the two diets.
They found that, after 12 weeks on the high-sugar diet, the men with NAFLD showed changes in fat metabolism that have been linked to a raised risk of heart disease.
It was also found that, after the high-sugar diet, the healthy men – whose livers had previously shown a low level of fat – had higher levels of fat in the liver, and their fat metabolism also resembled that of the men with NAFLD.”
Now I’m sure you’re wondering how this affects heart health.
In the past few years links between NAFLD and heart disease have been made.
NAFLD can increase people’s risk of cardiovascular disease because it might lead to the development of a disease known as atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which a person’s arteries became stiff and clogged over time, mainly when a substance known as arterial plaque builds up in the linings of blood vessels and arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart.
The risks of Atherosclerosis are numerous, but the predominant ones are acute risk of heart attack or stroke.
The research you just read indicates if a person eats too much sugar, it may harm the liver, eventually resulting in serious heart issues down the road.
So maybe lay off the sugar? It’ll probably protect your heart and much more.