Study suggests that sugar itself is a major culprit in heart disease and diabetes.
Processed sugar is closely linked to diabetes and heart disease.
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A new study suggests that a major cut back on sugar consumption can regulate blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels and improves overall health in just 10 days.
The findings may also help end the long-standing debate whether the sugar itself harmful for health or it is the calories and carbohydrates which comes from sugary products and contribute in gaining weight and eventually in health problems.
For the study, 43 obese children aged 9 to 18 were recruited. All of them were at a high risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes due to obesity, poor eating habits or lack of physical activities.
Researchers put the kids on a strict 9- day diet plan and reduced their sugar intake by taking out sodas, sweets and other sugary foods but the amount of carbs and calories remained the same as before as added sugar was replaced with starchy food such as potatoes, pizza and pasta.
The results were sticking. After just 10 days, researchers found improvement in blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels in children by just restricting their sugar intake.
"Every aspect of their metabolic health got better, with no change in calories," said lead author Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco.
"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."
The findings raise serious concern about the damaging effects of sugar on health and using it as a source to get calories and carbohydrates.
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"It's an important study that adds to the weight of evidence, and really calls out for us to examine the fact that eating patterns, and what a healthy eating pattern is for the American public, are as important as total caloric intake.” Jeffery Mechanick, director of metabolic support in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine said.