Is Sugar Worse for Heart Health than Salt?

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shutterstock_70930429We all know that too much sugar can be bad for us, but now we know more about how it affects our hearts. A recent study suggests that increased sugar in your diet can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. While salt has often been known as a culprit in heart disease risks, the evidence points to a high sugar intake as another risk factor for your heart health.

Sugar and High Blood Pressure

Sugar is found hidden in so many of the foods we eat. Sodas, candy, processed foods and even yogurt have a lot more sugar than you might realize. As good as all of those things might taste, they can pose a big risk to our heart health, including the possibility of causing high blood pressure.

Diet plays a very big role in managing and preventing high blood pressure. Reducing your sugar intake can be a critical step in improving your blood pressure and overall heart health.

Sugar and Cholesterol

A diet high in sugar can contribute to obesity and heart disease. However, many people probably don’t associate sugar with high cholesterol. People who consume high amounts of sugar are usually found to have a significantly lower level of high-density lipoprotein, commonly known as “good cholesterol,” than those who consume low level of sugar. Lowering your HDL levels puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease.

Understanding Food Labels

The American Heart Association has guidelines for limiting your sugar intake and understanding how to read food labels. While deciphering food labels may be time-consuming, it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet and protect your heart.