One Sugary Drink a Day Can Raise Heart Disease Risk

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sodaOne regular soda a day can’t be that bad right?  Well, a new study says it might be.

For 22 years, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health tracked nearly 43,000 male participants, ages 40-75 in a health  They also collected blood samples from more than 18,000 men who were demographically similar to the other participants.

Just 12 ounces of regular soda, fruit drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages daily was associated with a higher risk of heart disease, even after controlling other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and a family history of heart disease.

The news isn’t much better for women either. Another study from 2009 found that women who drank one or less than two sugary drinks per day had a 23 percent increased risk of a heart attack.

“This study adds to the growing evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to cardiovascular health,” said Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., study lead author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Harvard School of Public Health, in a press release.  “Certainly, it provides strong justification for reducing sugary beverage consumption among patients, and more importantly, in the general population.”

To stay on the safe side, The American Heart Association recommends no more than half of discretionary calories (calories left in your “energy allowance” after consuming the recommended types and amounts of foods to meet all daily nutrient requirements) come from added sugars. For the average American man, that means no more than 150 calories a day, and for the average woman — 100 calories a day.

Want to learn more about all the other daily nutrition risks that may affect your health? Check out our Weight Loss Program here at Healthy Fit.

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