Drinking Beverages With Sugar? Study Finds Heart Disease Links to Sugary Drinks.
It's hot, you feel dehydrated and the only tasty thirst quencher is a beverage which has a sugar kick to it. Since you are thin and regularly workout, you can risk a few extra calories, right? Well, not so fast according to a recent study which links heart disease to sugary drinks, especially if you drink at least two a day. Maybe you should restrain your urge for the sweetness and reach for that water and lemon juice instead.
Large studies in the past, including the ongoing Framingham Heart Study, now in its 63rd year, have linked drinking sugar-sweetened beverages to heart disease. To examine these links between an individual's risk factors for heart disease and sugary drinks, Christina Shay, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and colleagues asked, "Is it blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity? What is it specifically?"
For five years, Shay and her colleagues followed 4,166 people between the ages of 45 and 84 who were part of a larger Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. They presented their findings Sunday at the American Heart Association's annual Scientific Sessions meeting in Orlando, Florida.
What they discovered was that women who enjoyed two or more sugar-sweetened drinks a day were four times more likely to have high levels of triglycerides than women who drank one sugar drink. Triglycerides are fats that in excess have been linked to heart disease and abnormal levels of fasting glucose, a precursor to diabetes.The types of beverages which were sweetened by sugar included sodas, lemonades, teas, gourmet coffee drinks, nonalcoholic beer and mineral water. Shay said it was "striking" that only the women showed high levels of triglycerides. The men did not.Continued on the next page