Sugar: Sweet on the Tongue but Poison for Your Heart?

Sugar: Sweet on the Tongue but Poison for Your Heart? on

Find out what all those snacks are doing to your ticker

Right now, we are entering over-eating season. Chances are you can put away quite a bit of food at Thanksgiving. Soon there will be holiday parties and dinners, not to mention all the delectable treats you will probably receive as gifts. It’s no wonder that once the New Year hits so many people resolve to lose weight.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing a little indulging, you may want to go easy on the sweet treats. Though it can be a nice add-on to a number of foods, excess sugar is actually pretty bad for us in a number of ways, and not just for our teeth and skin.

More sugar = more likely to go to an early grave

It is recommended that we get less than 10 percent of our calories from sugar, and a 15-year study highlights why exactly. It was discovered that participants who consumed 25 percent or more of their calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease, compared to those under the 10 percent threshold. This was true regardless of age, sex, or body-mass index.

Worse than saturated fats

When discussing things that lead to heart problems – like clogged arteries – saturated fats are usually cited as the main culprits. However, according to another study, excessive sugar consumption plays a bigger role in heart disease. Results showed that even after a few weeks of eating a diet high in sugar, a person will experience higher cholesterol levels, abnormal glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance.

What does sugar actually do to the body?

Sugar belly

What sounds like a fun little candy is actually a potentially deadly health issue. Extra weight around your middle could be a sign of metabolic syndrome. In addition to a big stomach, symptoms can include high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels, both of which can increase the risk of heart disease.

Overactive pancreas

Fructose is particularly harmful to the body. And when too much of it is consumed, the pancreas starts producing insulin to regulate blood sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause Type 2 Diabetes and has been linked to heart disease.


You can’t discuss the negative affects of sugar without mentioning diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, diabetic adults are two to four times more likely to die as the result of heart disease compared to adults without diabetes. This is because diabetes can easily lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and abnormal cholesterol.

Hopefully this information is helpful, especially the next time you think about grabbing a soda or reaching for a third cookie. On the positive side, even if you’re somewhat of a sugar junkie, there’s no reason you can’t start improving your diet immediately. And if you work or live with people who may not have the healthiest heart habits, you might want to think about learning life-saving measures like CPR. You can see all of our classes here.