It’s over. The debate is settled.
It’s sugar, not fat, that causes heart attacks.
Oops. Fifty years of doctors’ advice and government eating guidelines have been wrong. We’ve been told to swap eggs for Cheerios. But that recommendation is dead wrong. In fact, it’s very likely that this bad advice has killed millions of Americans.
A rigorously done new study shows that those with the highest sugar intake had a four-fold increase in their risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intakes. That’s 400%! Just one 20-ounce soda increases your risk of a heart attack by about 30%.
This study of more than 40,000 people, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, accounted for all other potential risk factors including total calories, overall diet quality, smoking, cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and alcohol.
This follows on the heels of decades of research that has been mostly ignored by the medical establishment and policy makers. In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends getting no more than 25% of your total calories from added sugar. Really?? This study showed that your risk of heart attacks doubles if sugar makes up 20% of your calories.
You should believe it, too. A couple of years ago, I put myself on a fairly simple diet from Labor Day to Christmas Eve. There were only two elements to this diet: (1) avoid anything that seemed "sugary", like cookies, cakes, candy, etc. and (2) stop drinking alcohol. In less than four months, I lost more than 40 pounds, and it seemed effortless. I didn't stop eating. I didn't watch my calories. I didn't exercise more. I just cut sugar and alcohol out of my diet and the pounds melted away.
Enjoy those Valentine chocolates, but then try to avoid sugar for a while.