Sweet Drinks Are A Risk Factor Of Heart Disease

Sweet Drinks Are A Risk Factor Of Heart Disease

If you drink more than two sugar sweetened drinks (including those popular flavored waters) per day, a new study finds they are a risk factor of heart disease and you might have a higher risk for developing diabetes, even if you aren't adding any weight from enjoying these popular, and tasty beverages. These types of sugar-laden drinks are well known culprits that contribute to obesity and have already been removed from vending machines at many schools in an effort to limit the empty calorie temptations for kids.

Researchers looked at the drinking habits for almost 4,200 subjects, both men and women, who were between 45 to 84 years old and were of different ethnic backgrounds.

Using questionnaires to learn about drinking habits, the team also recorded weight gain, measured waist circumference, noted levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, as well as who might be diagnosed with diabetes during follow up exams that continued over a period of 5 years. None of the participants were suffering from heart disease at the start of the research back in 2002.

The study found that middle aged women that consumed two (or more) sweetened drinks per day had a risk four times higher of suffering from elevated triglycerides levels as well as higher blood sugar levels compared to those women who drank under one sweetened drink a day.

The sweetened beverage drinkers also had increased belly fat, but did not weigh more than the non-drinkers.

Doctors know that fat in the belly area poses far more dangerous health risks compared with fat stored in other parts of the body. Fat in this area lies around vital organs and often produces hormones and other dangerous substances that have a negative impact on blood pressure, insulin production and cholesterol. Taken together, these are what are known as metabolic syndrome, a group of risks that have been associated with stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

The findings on sweet drinks did not hold for men, though no one knows precisely why this might be. It might be that women don't need as much energy for metabolism compared with men due to being smaller in size with less muscle mass overall. A soda containing 130-calories accounts for a larger chunk of the daily energy of a woman compared to a man - maybe men need to drink more sweetened beverages to see the same effect.

While cutting back on the sugar-laden drinks is not easy, it is a smart choice when it comes to improving your health. Think about this, women usually make the food (and drink) choices for the whole family, and this can have far reaching effects on others. As individuals, we need to exercise some control over how much we drink as these choices can have an incredible impact on our risk for heart disease.

Another study presented at the same meeting included 212 patients with heart failure, aged 61 years old and found that those who had low vitamin C levels do worse than people who get sufficient amounts of vitamin C through their diet.

Heart failure patients with a deficiency of vitamin C were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have an inflammation marker linked with heart disease called high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in the blood. These people had a higher risk of being hospitalized (or dying) from heart failure in comparison to those who had higher vitamin c levels of and low levels of hsCRP.

It seems that those who eat a diet full of vitamin C are likely to have better health than those who don't. As always, experts caution against favoring one good for you food over another - a balanced eating plan that includes lots of healthy foods is always best, as well as reducing your intake of sugary sweet drinks.