Roughly 4.5 million children in the United States are now classified as severely obese, putting them at a significantly higher risk for developing heart disease. However, one study offers hope in the form of a simple dietary change.
When researchers from the University of California analyzed a small group of obese children, they found that cutting back on sugar—without altering the amount of calories, fat, protein or carbohydrates consumed—was linked to considerable improvements in specific health markers related to heart disease.
When daily sugar intake was reduced from 28 percent to 10 percent, researchers noted a 33 percent drop in triglyceride levels, along with lower LDL cholesterol levels. But perhaps even more importantly, “the most dramatic reduction” was seen for a protein called apoC-III, which has been linked to inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
According to lead author Dr. Robert Lustig, “This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight; rather sugar is metabolically harmful because it’s sugar.”