Thursday, November 04, 2010

Another reason to avoid sugar...

According to newly published research, regular consumption of sugary beverages is associated with a "clear and consistently greater risk of metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes." The findings, which were based on the meta-analysis of 11 published studies and published in Diabetes Care, appear to support claims that intake of sugary beverages should be limited in order to reduce risk of these conditions.
"Many previous studies have examined the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of diabetes, and most have found positive associations but our study, which is a pooled analysis of the available studies, provides an overall picture of the magnitude of risk and the consistency of the evidence," wrote the researchers, led by Vasanti Malik a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition, at the Harvard School of Public Health.
According to findings published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, per capita consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages more than doubled in the U.S. from 64.4 to 141.7 kcal per day between the late 1970s and 2006. Previous research from prospective studies has shown consistent positive associations between sugar-sweetened beverage intake and weight gain and obesity, as well as linking such beverages to other health risks high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
So my advice is, ditch the regular soda and grab a diet version. With that change alone, not only could you avoid possible outcomes like the one mentioned above, but you will also cut 150 calories a day from your diet, which could ultimately result in a 15-pound weight loss over the course of a year.
Need another reason to dump those sugary products? Experts say too much sugar can make your skin dull and wrinkled. At blame is a natural process that's known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products or AGEs. The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. The good news is, there are several ways to counteract this, such as cutting back on sugary sweets, wearing sunscreen and eating more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts, and vegetables. And, of course, if you have a sweet tooth like mine - and are hoping to celebrate National Candy Day today (yes, it's for real!), just grab a sugar-free version (and a diet soda) instead.

Russell Stover Sugar-Free Chocolate

Hershey's Sugar-Free Candy (I'm partial to the Reese's peanut butter cups!)

Jelly Belly's Sugar-Free Jelly Beans

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