I know it can be hard to limit your added sugars intake—just last week I tried to drink a cup of coffee without any sugar
thinking I might not notice. I did! But a new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical
, which adds to evidence that eating too many added
sugars may be taking a toll on our heart health,
gives us another good reason to keep trying.
Added sugars are those added to food by consumers or during manufacturing by food producers and include sweeteners like
honey, molasses and agave nectar as well as table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. (Get a more complete list of added
sugars and its aliases here.)
Last fall, the American Heart Association recommended that women should eat no more than 100 calories per day from added
sugars, or about 6 teaspoons, and men should stick to less than 150 calories, approximately 9teaspoons. (Here are 3 ways to cut
back on your sugar intake.)
For reference, a 12-ounce can of cola contains about 8 teaspoons of added sugars.
out what that soda is actually doing to your body.)
This new study “strengthens and substantiates the American Heart Association’s recommendations for limiting added sugars
intake,” says Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., M.P.H,EatingWell’s senior nutrition advisor, Professor of Nutrition, University of
Vermont, member of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee and AHA spokesperson.
In the study of more than 6,000Americans, those who ate more added sugars had lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and
higher levels of triglycerides (“bad” fats in the blood)—two risk factors for cardiovascular disease—than people who ate less
added sugars. (Stay healthy with recipes for delicious
sweet treats with surprisingly low added sugars here.)
While it might not come as a surprise that sugars are bad for your heart health, this is the first study to look specifically
at consumption of added sugars and blood lipids. These new findings add to the ever-growing research on added sugars and
their effects on your heart health. Last fall, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended limiting added sugars based
on the idea that too much sugar is likely contributing to our growing waistlines and therefore raising the risk for heart