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Category: General Health
People who are concerned about their risk of developing conditions such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease should get regular blood tests to make sure they are healthy. They should also maintain a healthy diet, since consuming too much fat and sugar can increase the risk of both these conditions. For example, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas, consuming too much sugar can increase a person's risk of developing heart disease.
The scientists explained that the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate may cause stress to the heart, leading to poor pump function and heart failure. The researchers stated that heart disease kills an estimated 5 million Americans each year, and the one-year survival rate after diagnosis is only 50 percent.
"Treatment is difficult. Physicians can give diuretics to control the fluid, and beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors to lower the stress on the heart and allow it to pump more economically," said Heinrich Taegtmeyer, M.D., D.Phil., principal investigator and professor of cardiology at the UTHealth Medical School. "But we still have these terrible statistics and no new treatment for the past 20 years."
Sugar and the heart
This is not the first time that consuming too much sugar has been associated with heart problems. According to a 2010 report conducted by NBC News, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that excess sugar in processed foods can raise people's bad cholesterol levels and increase their risk of cardiovascular disease. This is why it is important for people to limit the amount of sugar they consume and use cholesterol testing services to make sure that they have healthy levels.
This new University of Texas study has found that sugar may not just impact cholesterol levels, but could actually damage the heart itself.
"When the heart muscle is already stressed from high blood pressure or other diseases, and then takes in too much glucose, it adds insult to injury," Taegtmeyer said.
Tips to eat less sugar
Avoiding sugar can be difficult, but it is possible if people try hard and watch what they eat. Prevention magazine explained that one of the best ways for individuals to cut out sugar is to stop drinking soda and juices that are particularly high in sugar. Eliminating these beverages will cut a great deal of sugar from a diet, which is why it is important to avoid them.
Yahoo stated that people who try to eat less sugar should learn how to read labels properly to determine how much sugar is in what they eat. For example, people should look for words such as cane juice, cane syrup and fructose, which are all signs that there is added sugar in something.
Furthermore, people who want to eat less sugar should consider making their own desserts more often, rather than purchasing processed foods. When people cook their own food, they're in charge of how much sugar they add and can make the decisions themselves. They may also find that they can replace some of the sugar in their recipes with other things. For instance, Prevention suggested that people can replace some of the sugar in a recipe with raw honey instead, which may be a healthier option.
Also, when making dishes such as tomato sauce, Prevention recommended using grated carrots rather than sugar. Carrots are a great source of natural sugar that can add just the right amount of sweetness to something, while adding some essential vitamins and minerals.
Finally, people should consider eating fruit when they crave sugar - it is a healthier alternative to other sources of sugar.
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