Sugar is turning out to be more dangerous than previously thought. That’s the conclusion of a large epidemiological study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. More than 30,000 people were questioned in detail about their health and their diets between 1988 and 2010. Approximately 11,000 adults were included in a study that linked mortality to diet. The conclusions are pretty chilling. As added sugar makes up a greater proportion of the diet, the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke climbs. People who got 25% or more of their calories from sugar, whether in soft drinks, desserts, or candy or cereal, were almost three times more likely to die during the study from cardiovascular causes. For those eating 2,000 calories a day, 25% translates into 500 calories from sugar or roughly 31 teaspoons.

An epidemiological study like this can’t establish cause and effect, although the scientists did control for exercise, smoking, drinking and other relevant behaviors. But it might give all of us reason to wonder whether it is time to rein in our sweet tooth.

[JAMA Internal Medicine, online Feb. 3,2014]

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  1. A. Grogan

    Life is short. I will not give up sugar. Like many medical specialists telling us eggs were bad, etc. I will take this new information with a grain of salt.

  2. Sandie D.

    I am so very tired of being told that the multitude of ingredients which are in EVERYTHING are potentially deadly. Butter is bad / no, butter is okay; eggs are bad / no, eggs are okay. (What is “3 times more likely”? If there are 10 practices which each reduce my risk of death by 10%, if I follow all 10, does that mean I will live forever? %-)

  3. Rebekah P.

    Terry & Joe,
    I have recently read similar information about the sugar/cardiovascular link. My thoughts are that often sugar and hydrodegenated fat are often found together and that further research may reveal that this combination in calorie dense foods, cake, cookies, ice cream, pastries may increase cardiovascular risk.
    Moral of the story…. Choose nutrient dense foods ie foods from the food guide pyramid daily and the calorie dense foods, ie pastries, cakes, cookies once in a while and in moderation.:-)

  4. Donnie

    I’m allergic to corn, so I avoid it entirely. And I avoid all GMOs so that eliminates beet sugar as well as all the corn sweeteners. I eat a little organic cane sugar in my organic dark chocolate bar. I eat small pieces of it, once in awhile. And I add maybe a teaspoon of organic cane sugar to my plain yogurt if I put lemon juice or other sour fruit in it. That is the only added sugar I eat, so anything else would be trace amounts that occur naturally. The article mentions a very large amount of added sugar in some diets. I think I’m probably safe with the very small amount I eat in a day.

  5. paul43

    Tell me more about a good alternative for the sweets.
    People’s Pharmacy response: Fruit might be a reasonably healthful way to enjoy something sweet. The idea is sweets don’t have to be completely forbidden, just eaten only in moderation or sparingly.

  6. js

    IS all the test material “ie sweet treats” made with corn syrup and junk food processed? Or are the ingredients high quality organic and fresh in the test? Store purchased or homemade with quality ingredients? What else did their diet have in it. Really a balanced diet is the best. js

  7. SC

    I read this study and checked my grape juice. Twenty nine grams of sugar in eight ounces. I have been taking it with certo as suggested on your site for arthritis. Are there any less sugar laden beverages I can use with Certo as effective?
    People’s Pharmacy response: Some people have used pomegranate juice or cherry juice, but you would need to check the sugar content on them, too.

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