Not only does it affect healthy blood pressure, but a Mayo Clinic report reveals that a diet high in added sugars, particularly fructose, is causing a significant increase in cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the United States—and may soon result in a nationwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes.
What many people don’t realize is that heart disease is a major complication of diabetes, and according to the American Diabetes Association having diabetes actually doubles your risk of heart attack and stroke. Excess fructose also contributes to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, and even moderate doses of added sugar over a short period of time can cause significant damage to the heart, say experts.
Below are 4 important “heart-healthy steps” you can take every day:
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly.
- Eliminate added sugars from your diet.
- Reduce your intake of carbohydrates from starchy foods such as bread, pasta, pastries and starchy vegetables. (Carbohydrates break down into sugar in the digestive tract, and those sugars are absorbed and contribute to high blood sugar.)
- Read ingredient and nutritional content labels before purchasing a food product.
When working to reduce your sugar intake, remember to eat plenty of non-starchy veggies, low-sugar fruits, protein (from sources such as tofu, poultry, eggs and fish), healthy fats, nuts and seeds.