According to research, men drinking a single sugary drink every day have a 20% higher heart disease risk in comparison with men who do not consume any kind of sugary drinks.
The research adds to the mounting evidence that sugary drinks are harmful to cardiovascular health.
Heart disease is the main cause of death in the US. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity and poor diet.
The study of 42,883 men revealed that the increased risk persisted even after other risk factors such as alcohol use, physical inactivity, smoking, and a family history of heart disease were taken into account. Risk was not increased by less frequent drinking of sugary drinks, twice monthly and twice weekly.
Different blood proteins and lipids, such as the inflammation marker CRP (C-reactive protein), harmful lipids called triglycerides and good lipids HDL (high-density lipoproteins), which are heart disease indicators, were also measured.
In comparison to non-drinkers of sugary drinks, individuals who drank sugary drinks daily had lower HDL levels and higher triglyceride and CRP.
The study participants completed questionnaires about diet as well as other health habits every 2 years for 22 years. A blood sample was also provided half way through the study.
Participants were mostly 40-75 year old Caucasian men. Because all men in the study were employed in a health-related profession, their health habits may have differed from those of the general public.
A maximum of 50% of discretionary calories are recommended by the American Heart Association to come from added sugars. That’s a maximum of150 calories daily for the majority of American men and 100 calories for the majority of American women. Discretionary calories are those left in the “energy allowance” once the recommended kinds and quantities of foods to fulfill all daily nutrient requirements have been consumed.