Wellness Tip: Why Sugar Isn’t Sweet on Your Heart

It’s ironic, really, that sugar is so often associated with love and matters of the heart — from Grandma’s famous cookies to boxes of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. But the truth is that sugar is hurting your heart. On average, American adults get 15 percent of their daily calories (based on a 2,000-calorie diet) from added sugar. That’s far more than the 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men that the American Heart Association recommends. Although questionable food choices account for some of the excess sugar intake, a much greater part of the problem is the hidden sugar in products such as ketchup, salad dressing, cereals, breads, granola bars, spaghetti sauce, and even tonic water, all of which contain lots of added sugar. The resulting excess sugar consumption increases your risk of developing many chronic illnesses, including heart disease. To reduce your sugar intake, check food labels carefully, looking for hidden sugars like the “oses” (fructose, sucrose, dextrose, etc.), corn syrup, nectars, and evaporated or concentrated juices. Do your very best to avoid foods that contain added sugar, and focus instead on fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, or veggies for more nutritious snacks.

The Wellness Tip of the Week is from Cleveland Clinic’s 360-5 Daily Wellness Tips.