A new study investigated by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that regular intake of sugary drinks can be a factor in developing cardiovascular diseases.
It further explained that when people consume more sugary drinks, their risk of death rose accordingly.
The scientists found that replacing a sugary drink with an artificially sweetened beverage lowered the risk of death somewhat; however, drinking four or more artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a higher risk of death among women.
One of the researchers from the Department of Nutrition at Boston, Vasanti Malik, said due to her present findings at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, drinking water in place of sugary drinks is a healthy choice that could contribute to longevity.
To investigate the link between sugary drinks and cardiovascular disease, the team looked at data from 37,716 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and 80,647 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. After controlling for other dietary factors, physical activity, and body mass index, the team determined that these sugary drinks were associated with higher mortality rates from cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as higher cancer rates.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that adults focus on getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. It is also important to avoid tobacco in any form, including vaping, cigarettes, and nicotine products.
A healthy lifestyle is a factor that people can directly control when it comes to CVD, and the AHA have several suggestions about improving overall health and reducing the onset of the disease.
Nutrition is another key component of cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association suggested consuming plenty of produce, fiber-rich whole grains, poultry, and fish. For other meat, look for lean cuts and prepare them without added fats or excess sodium. Avoid foods high in saturated fat, and add foods that are rich in “good” fats, such as salmon and avocado.
Researchers noted another vital goal, nutrition-wise, is avoiding added sugars. This not only includes sugar-sweetened beverages but foods as well, as added sugar can really add up over the course of a day and lead to unwanted effects. It can be difficult to give up a long-ingrained habit of enjoying sugar-sweetened beverages.
Substituting an artificially sweetened drink for one laden in sugar can be a good idea, but for those who consume four or more per day, it might not be as safe as most people believe.
The findings reported on MedicalNewsToday says water can not only take the place of beverages that carry health risks, it is crucial for good health, as it helps regulate temperature, keeps joints in good shape, and helps rid the body of waste. Drinking water can also reduce a person’s overall caloric intake as well as save money. Some people enjoy fruit-infused water, which contains some flavor without all the extra sugar.
Dr Walter Willett, who co-authored the study explained that “These findings are consistent with the known adverse effects of high sugar intake on metabolic risk factors and the strong evidence that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, itself a major risk factor for premature death.
He continues: “The results also provide further support for policies to limit marketing of sugary beverages to children and adolescents and for implementing soda taxes because the current price of sugary beverages does not include the high costs of treating the consequences”.