Exercise falls short in shielding heart from sugar’s harms, study suggests

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exercise-falls-short(NaturalHealth365)  Medical experts and fitness professionals advocate for regular cardiovascular exercise as a means to safeguard heart health, facilitate carbohydrate burning, and enhance blood circulation.  However, it is important to note that solely relying on physical activity will not provide sufficient protection against the detrimental impacts of sugar on the heart.

In fact, a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals those who consume sugary beverages cannot offset the ensuing damage to the cardiovascular system with exercise alone.  Let’s find out what researchers discovered.

Study reveals exercise alone isn’t enough to counteract sugar’s heart risks

The study referenced investigates whether exercise alone can mitigate the adverse effects of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks on heart health.

For this study, researchers examined data from two cohorts of adults in the United States, analyzing 13,269 cardiovascular disease events over a staggering 3,001,213 person-years of follow-up.

Interestingly, individuals who met exercise guidelines but consumed sugary beverages infrequently or never had better cardiovascular outcomes than those who didn’t meet physical activity guidelines and consumed over two sugary drinks per week.

The study’s most significant finding is that the more sugary beverages a person consumes, the higher their risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of their exercise frequency.  Even those who exercise regularly are advised to limit their intake of sugary drinks.  Ideally, both active individuals and those with less physical activity should minimize or eliminate sugary beverage consumption.

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How do sugary beverages harm your heart health?

With their high levels of added sugars or artificial sweeteners, sugary beverages pose significant risks to heart health.  Due to their high calorie content and lack of nutritional value, these drinks contribute to weight gain and metabolic disorders.

Specifically, store bought sugary drinks can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, which in turn raises the risk of heart disease.

Regular consumption of sugary beverages is also associated with adverse changes in lipid profiles, including elevated triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels and reduced HDL cholesterol levels.

Additionally, sugary drinks have been linked to higher blood pressure levels, increased inflammation in the body, and the development of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that significantly raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Additional risks of sugary beverages everyone should know about

Sugary drinks, ranging from fruit juices to sodas, often contain more than excessive sugar and artificial sweeteners.  They’re also notorious for harboring elevated levels of heavy metals, which pose significant risks to human health.  Research has highlighted the presence of dangerous heavy metals in these drinks, which can accumulate in the body over time and lead to various health complications.

Studies have also linked the consumption of sugary beverages to a higher rate of cancer mortality, underscoring the detrimental impact of these drinks on overall health outcomes.  But if these health risks aren’t alarming enough, consider their impact on kidney health.  Research has found a correlation between sugar consumption and an increased risk of kidney stones.

Even seemingly innocuous choices like processed fruit juice can pose significant health risks.  Studies have shown that fruit juice consumption is associated with early death at similar frequencies to those caused by sugary beverages.  This revelation challenges the perception of fruit juice as a healthy alternative.

To protect heart health, it’s crucial to minimize or eliminate the intake of sugary beverages and opt for healthier alternatives like water, herbal teas, or unsweetened beverages.  Instead of drinking soda, diet soda, sports drinks, and energy “boosters” loaded with sugar, choose flavored water.  Add lemon, lime, or other sliced (organic) fruit to clean water, pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes, and you’ll have a refreshing all-natural beverage ready for enjoyment.

In conclusion, we should mention, the research was clearly not talking about fresh (organic) beverages made – at home – with a blender or juicer.  Smoothies or juices – made fresh at home – with a combination of organic fruits and vegetables do not have same detrimental effect on our health as these commercially produced (overly sweetened) beverages.

If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels or health (in any way) … seek help with a holistic doctor or health coach for guidance and support.  Healthy eating habits require a little effort, but the rewards are worth it.

Sources for this article include:

Sciencedirect.com
Ulaval.ca


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