Most people realize that sugar-sweetened beverages are bad for the waistline. A new review of research suggests that they are also bad for the heart.
What’s the Evidence?
Two Harvard nutrition scientists have done a thorough review of the research. They report that the increased sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in the US diet has contributed to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They base their conclusion on both observational studies and controlled trials. When people consume sugary drinks, their bodies fail to compensate for the calories they have taken in, so these beverages can add extra pounds.
Fructose Is a Special Problem:
The way fructose is metabolized contributes to the problem. In addition to its effect on caloric intake, fructose stimulates the liver to make extra fat that gets packed around the abdominal organs. That adds to the cardiometabolic risk.
In an editorial in the same issue, Dr. Robert Vogel points out the complications that arise in trying to study the impact of food on health. His article is cleverly titled Pharma Versus Farmer.
A previous study showed that people who cut back on soft drink consumption are able to lower their blood pressure. Other research showed that women who frequently consume sugar-sweetened beverages are more prone to gout, an exceedingly painful inflammation of the joints.
We should point out that even fruit juice that does not contain additional sugar may have enough fructose to disrupt liver metabolism. There is no doubt that the healthiest beverage is water, although unsweetened coffee or tea would probably also get a pass on this criterion.
5/22/19 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/is-juice-as-bad-for-your-health-as-soda/