Category Archives: Sugar Consumption

Violating first amendment rights with health warning labels on sugary drinks?

soad warningThe American Beverage Association thinks so and they’re suing the city of San Francisco to make their point.

The American Beverage Association has sued the city of San Francisco, claiming new legislation requiring health warning labels on sugary beverages and prohibiting advertisements of them on city property violates the First Amendment.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the association filed the lawsuit on Friday.

The lawsuit says the city “is trying to ensure that there is no free marketplace of ideas, but instead only a government-imposed, one-sided public ‘dialogue’ on the topic — in violation of the First Amendment.”

The Board of Supervisors in June unanimously approved an ordinance that requires health warnings on ads for sugary drinks. The measure requires those warnings be placed along ads on billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters and stadiums.
The label would read: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”

It’s an interesting argument. But FoodFacts.com is skeptical, at best. That warning label isn’t impeding the rights of citizens. Instead, it’s actually giving consumers the other side of the story not represented in the beverage company’s advertising. Really the ABA is arguing for the rights of beverage companies to promote their products in a very one-sided manner. The real free marketplace of ideas they speak of is one where all sides of the story are acknowledged, instead of the one where the beverage company touts the merits of its sugar-sweetened beverage without any acknowledgement of the possible health effects of said beverage.

While it sounds quite American to argue in a lawsuit that the First Amendment rights of consumers are being violated through this new legislation, it does strike us as an attempt at a smoke-and-mirrors end run around the law. The ABA isn’t arguing for our First Amendment rights as consumers. Instead, they’re arguing for the First Amendment rights of the beverage companies. Last time we checked, First Amendment rights applied to people, not corporations.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/san-francisco-soda-warnings-advertising-ban-lawsuit/

New sugar consumption recommendations out of England may be worth taking a look at for other nations

Added-fructose-is-key-driver-of-type-2-diabetes-warn-experts_strict_xxlIt appears that the U.S. isn’t the only country with an excessive sweet tooth. New recommendations have been introduced recommending another significant reduction in sugar consumption for the British population.

• Adults and children should get no more than 5%, down from the previous 10%, of their energy intake from ‘free’ sugars – this is equivalent to 5-7 teaspoons of sugar

• Sugar-sweetened beverages should be drunk as infrequently as possible by both adults and children

• The recommended fibre intake should increase to 30g per day (equivalent to about a quarter more than the old guidelines)

That’s a big change – so what happens next? And how is this linked to cancer anyway?

Importantly, there isn’t conclusive evidence that sugar itself causes cancer cells to grow or spread (despite persistent myths that claim there is). But what is crystal clear is that eating more sugary food and drink increases total energy intake, which can lead to being overweight or obese – the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. Being overweight and not having a healthy, balanced diet causes 49,100 extra cases of cancer every year.

The UK consumes too much sugar. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that every age group exceeded even the previous guidelines – that people should get no more than 10% of their energy intake from free sugars. This is a particular problem for teenagers, who appear to get more than 15% of their energy intake from free sugars – three times the new guideline.

The new guidelines also reaffirm a definition for ‘free sugars’, which until now has not been a well-understood term. The Committee recommends that free sugars are defined as both sugars which are added to food by the cook, customer, or manufacturer (sugars like glucose and fructose), and sugars naturally present in products like honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.

Halving the recommended maximum level of sugar intake is a clear statement that the Committee agrees with the evidence that reducing the amount of sugar in our diets can have clear benefits for a person’s health.

FoodFacts.com knows that the whole world has a sweet tooth. We also know that it’s growing increasingly difficult for anyone to do anything about reducing their sugar intake while still relying on processed, prepared products. It’s the same story everywhere. The only remedy is cooking real food with fresh, whole ingredients in our own kitchens. When we take control of our diets, we take control of our health.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-07-health-england-halving-sugar-consumption.html

Dunkin’s new Tropical Mango Smoothie … a great way to beat the heat?

1435117835051Summer is in full swing here in the U.S. Depending on where you live, mid-July can bring 100 degree temperatures and the kind of humidity that can make walking to your car feel like walking around inside a steam room. FoodFacts.com knows that at this time of year so many of us are looking for ways to cool down and beat the heat.

To try and help us do that, Dunkin Donuts has just introduced their new Tropical Mango Smoothie. Just the use of the word smoothie conveys the idea of a healthier beverage. That may have been true a while back, but these days you really never know what’s going on with any new food or beverage introduction until you take a closer look. So let’s explore the Tropical Mango Smoothie.

Nutrition Facts
Calories:                 260
Fat:                          2 grams
Saturated Fat:       1 gram
Sugar:                     50 grams

There are 12.5 teaspoons of sugar in the small size (that’s the only one available on the website for nutrition facts). Cooling down doesn’t mean we need to load up on sugar and this smoothie really goes overboard with sweetness. Now let’s see what Dunkin has chosen to include in the smoothie recipe.

INGREDIENTS: Water; Yogurt: Pasteurized and Cultured Skim Milk, Sugar, Cream, Nonfat Dry Milk, Stabilizer (Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum), Yogurt Cultures: Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus; Tropical Mango Flavored Concentrate: Water, Mango Puree Concentrate, Sugar, Passion Fruit Puree, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Yellow 5, Yellow 6; Diced Pineapple; Diced Peaches (Peaches, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid and Malic Acid to promote color retention); Liquid Cane Sugar: Pure Cane Sugar, Water, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

While the list isn’t overweighed with controversial ingredients, we really don’t like the idea that there are artificial colors included in the list. We’re don’t understand why it was necessary. There’s actual fruit in here – mango puree, passion fruit puree, pineapple and peaches. All of which are beautifully colored by nature. We’re assuming Dunkin didn’t think it would be yellow enough to be attractive to consumers, so including artificial color made sense. We just don’t think like that.

We’ll be turning to other cooling beverages this summer to keep ourselves from overheating. We still believe that iced water and freshly brewed iced tea are better options in the midst of rising temperatures. And if we want a smoothie, we can mix one up ourselves without Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. We’re sure we’ll like the resulting color just fine.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coolatta/tropical_mango_smoothie.html

New research links sugary drinks with deaths worldwide

sugary drinksFoodFacts.com takes issue with the existence of chemically-laden sugary beverages – sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, canned and bottled iced teas, the list goes on. The sugar content is far too high, especially with the myriad of information we have that points directly to our over-consumption of all things sweet. In addition, the ingredient lists for these beverages most often resemble scientific experiments. We’re uncomfortable with that. After reading this latest research, we hope you’re uncomfortable with it too.

Consumption of sugary drinks may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, according to research published today in the journal Circulation and previously presented as an abstract at the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention in 2013.

“Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

In the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers estimated deaths and disabilities from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010. In this analysis, sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving. 100 percent fruit juice was excluded.

Estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information. This allowed capture of geographical, gender and age variation in consumption levels of sugar-sweetened beverages in different populations. Based on meta-analyses of other published evidence on health harms of sugar-sweetened beverages, the investigators calculated the direct impact on diabetes and the obesity-related effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

In 2010, the researchers estimate that sugar-sweetened beverages consumption may have been responsible for approximately:

• 133,000 deaths from diabetes
• 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease
• 6,450 deaths from cancer

“Some population dietary changes, such as increasing fruits and vegetables, can be challenging due to agriculture, costs, storage, and other complexities. This is not complicated. There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year,” Mozaffarian said.

The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly between populations. At the extremes, the estimated percentage of deaths was less than 1 percent in Japanese over 65 years old, but 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45. Of the 20 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages with an estimated 405 deaths per million adults (24,000 total deaths) and the U.S. ranked second with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).

About 76 percent of the estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths occurred in low- or middle-income countries.

In nations of the Caribbean and Latin America, such as Mexico, homemade sugary drinks (e.g. frescas) are popular and consumed in addition to commercially prepared sugar-sweetened beverages. “Among the 20 countries with the highest estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths, at least 8 were in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting the high intakes in that region of the world,” said Gitanjali Singh, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a research assistant professor at the Friedman School.

Overall, in younger adults, the percent of chronic disease attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages was higher than the percent in older adults. “The health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage intake on the young is important because younger adults form a large sector of the workforce in many countries, so the economic impact of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths and disability in this age group can be significant. It also raises concerns about the future. If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, the effects of high consumption will be compounded by the effects of aging, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now,” Singh said.

Are sugary drinks really worth all that? Isn’t it time for us all to rethink our beverage consumption? Maybe while we’re doing all that thinking, we should pour ourselves a nice glass of ice cold water. At least it’s a start.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150629162646.htm

Only at Taco Bell … the new Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast

Dew_Sangrita_FtnIt’s only at Taco Bell. Honestly, that’s too much as it is. This new drink is that special.

Take a look at the image on the Taco Bell site. It’s red soda. Hence the “Sangrita” reference we suppose. And all we can say is please don’t drink this.

If you visit the Pepsico website, you’ll find that you can choose a custom size in order to determine the nutrition facts. FoodFacts.com quickly figured out that this was the way Pepsico could have consumers believe that this new beverage isn’t so bad. Unfortunately, most folks in a fast food restaurant aren’t drinking 8 ou. Beverages. So for the purpose of this post, we’ve customized our nutrition facts for the Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast to a 16 ou. Beverage with 25% ice in our cup.
Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                 190
Fat:                          0 grams
Sugar:                     53 grams

In every 16 ou. cup, you’ll find 13 and a quarter teaspoons of sugar. But FoodFacts.com knew that it couldn’t end there. There’s more to discover about the Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast. And it certainly has everything to do with what meets the eye. Anytime we see an oddly colored food or beverage, we can pretty much count on the idea that we are not going to like the ingredient list. And we certainly weren’t wrong about that here.

CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM CITRATE, GUM ARABIC, CAFFEINE, RED 40, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR),GLYCEROL ESTER OF ROSIN, SUCROSE ACETATE ISOBUTYRATE, BLUE 1

Red 40 and Blue 1 are what you’re seeing in that image. They’re accompanied by high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, calcium disodium EDTA and caffeine.

The world did not need a brand new chemical concoction to ingest … especially not one with over 13 teaspoons of sugar. Needless to say, we won’t be going near this.

http://www.pepsicobeveragefacts.com/home/product?formula=F0000002029&form=FTN&size=8

If you’re drinking sugary beverages every day you may be increasing your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Daily-sugar-sweetened-beverages-linked-to-fatty-liver-diseaseThere are plenty of problems we’re already used to associating with drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. Obesity and diabetes come immediately to mind when we think about the subject. Now FoodFacts.com has read some new information that we should all be aware of linking sugary drinks to a different problem.

A daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HRNCA) at Tufts University report in the Journal of Hepatology.

The researchers analyzed 2,634 self-reported dietary questionnaires from mostly Caucasian middle-aged men and women enrolled in the National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute (NHLBI Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring and Third Generation cohorts. The sugar-sweetened beverages on the questionnaires included caffeinated- and caffeine-free colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit punches, lemonade or other non-carbonated fruit drinks. The participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to measure the amount of fat in the liver and the authors of the current study used a previously defined cut-point to identify NAFLD. They saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.

The relationships between sugar-sweetened beverages and NAFLD persisted after the authors accounted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and dietary and lifestyle factors such as calorie intake, alcohol, and smoking. In contrast, after accounting for these factors the authors found no association between diet cola and NAFLD. “Our study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to NAFLD and other chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said first author Jiantao Ma, Ph.D., a former doctoral student in the Nutrition Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and a graduate of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

NAFLD is characterized by an accumulation of fat in the liver cells that is unrelated to alcohol consumption. NAFLD is diagnosed by ultrasounds, CT, MRI, or biopsy, and many of the approximately 25% of Americans with the disease don’t experience any symptoms. Being obese or overweight increases the risk for NAFLD and people with NAFLD are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are a major dietary source of fructose, the sugar that is suspected of increasing risk of NAFLD because of how our bodies process it. “Few observational studies, to date, have examined the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and NAFLD,” Ma said. “Long-term prospective studies are needed to help ascertain the potential role of sugar-sweetened beverages in the development of NAFLD.”

“The cross-sectional nature of this study prevents us from establishing causality. Future prospective studies are needed to account for the changes in beverage consumption over time as soda consumers may switch to diet soda and these changes may be related to weight status,” added corresponding and senior author Nicola McKeown, Ph.D., a scientist in the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and an associate professor at the Friedman School. “Although there is much more research to be done, sugar-sweetened beverages are a source of empty calories, and people need to be mindful of how much they are drinking, perhaps by reserving this habit for special occasions.”

The over-consumption of sugar is a rampant problem in American diets. We’re getting the bulk of the sugar in our diets without even realizing it. Sugar is lurking in processed foods and drinks like soda in amounts most consumers don’t understand. Unless consumers are reading labels carefully and checking the nutrition facts for the foods and beverages they’re consuming at fast food and fast casual chains and then keeping track of the grams of sugar as they add up during the day, it’s actually difficult to know for sure. As we learn more about the effects of consuming sugary drinks from studies like this one, it becomes more important than ever to consciously monitor our sugar intake. We’ll all be healthier for it.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150605182352.htm

Thinking of cooling off with a Coolatta?

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 12.42.51 PMAs the weather starts heating up across the U.S., Dunkin Donuts is hoping that you’ll choose to cool off with one of their appealing Coolatta flavors. From the mocha and caramel coffee to the mango passion fruit, Minute Maid orange, strawberry, Arnold Palmer and vanilla bean, the frozen Coolatta has become an incredibly popular way to cool off as the mercury begins to rise for the coming summer months.

So many times, when we choose a beverage, we’re really not thinking about what’s actually in that cup. But the nutrition facts and ingredient lists for drinks can easily be just as bad as any number of foods. What’s going on with the Coolatta?

We’re going to look at the Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta. Since the Frozen Coffee Coolattas appeal to consumers as a frozen iced coffee, the appeal of this beverage is pretty compelling. Iced coffee that’s frozen and even more cooling than its non-frozen counterpart — sounds like the perfect thing on a hot day. Not so much.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:                      500
Fat:                               7 grams
Saturated Fat:            4 grams
Sugar:                          102 grams

You read that right. The medium Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta contains OVER 25 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR! That’s not just over the top, it’s off the charts!

INGREDIENTS: Frozen Coffee Base: Water, Frozen Coffee Concentrate (Water, Sugar, Coffee Extract, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavor); Milk; Mocha Flavored Swirl Syrup: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Water, Cocoa processed with alkali, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid, Salt.

The Coolatta concoction includes caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, and high fructose corn syrup, with a little coffee extract and cocoa thrown in for good measure.

The next time you’re looking to beat the heat with something cold and refreshing, don’t look for a Coolatta.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coffee1/frozen_mocha.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Mocha&DRP_SIZE=Medium&DRP_DAIRY=Whole+Milk

Sugary beverages can boost your risk of cardiovascular disease in just two weeks

sugarydrinksNew York City wanted to ban them. The federal government wants to tax them. Sugar-sweetened beverages have been under fire for quite a while now. But consumers keep right on drinking them. Soda, flavored iced coffee, flavored iced tea, fruit punch … these, and others, contain tremendous amounts of added sugars. Sugary drinks are a major culprit in the overconsumption of sugar that has contributed so heavily to the obesity crisis.

Beverages sweetened with low, medium and high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup significantly increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even when consumed for just two weeks by young, healthy men and women, reports a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis.

The study is the first to demonstrate a direct, dose-dependent relationship between the amount of added sugar consumed in sweetened beverages and increases in specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The data reinforce evidence from an earlier epidemiological study showing that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease — the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world — increases as the amount of added sugar consumed increases.

The results will be published in the June print edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“These findings clearly indicate that humans are acutely sensitive to the harmful effects of excess dietary sugar over a broad range of consumption levels,” said Kimber Stanhope, the study’s lead author and a research scientist in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The 85 participants, including men and women ranging in age from 18 to 40 years, were placed in four different groups. During 15 days of the study, they consumed beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup equivalent to 0 percent, 10 percent, 17.5 percent or 25 percent of their total daily calorie requirements.

The 0-percent control group was given a sugar-free beverage sweetened with aspartame, an artificial sweetener.

At the beginning and end of the study, researchers used hourly blood draws to monitor the changes in the levels of lipoproteins, triglycerides and uric acid — all known to be indicators of cardiovascular disease risk.

These risk factors increased as the dose of high-fructose corn syrup increased. Even the participants who consumed the 10-percent dose exhibited increased circulating concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride compared with their concentrations at the beginning of the study.

The researchers also found that most of the increases in lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease were greater in men than in women and were independent of body weight gain.

Stanhope noted that the study findings underscore the need to extend the research using carefully controlled dietary intervention studies, aimed at determining what would be prudent levels for added sugar consumption.

We tend to think of the relationship between sugar consumption and health in terms of obesity and weight gain. While that’s certainly an issue, FoodFacts.com wants to point out that this study indicates that the harmful effects of added sugar can, in fact, be independent of weight gain. Too much sugar is bad for your heart, even if you aren’t experiencing challenges with weight. Slowly but surely, science is proving that even the person you know who can “eat and drink whatever they want and not gain weight” isn’t immune to the harmful effects of consuming added sugar. It’s not just about your weight. It’s about your health.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150422142515.htm

Stressed out? Chronic stress may lead to the over-consumption of sugar

drinks(1)We live in a stressed-out society. There’s no way around it. We are surrounded by a stress-inducing environment. Our 24-hour news cycle, concerns about the economy and the security of our jobs, over-scheduled schedules, and little-to-no downtime certainly predispose us all to stress. Even our children are more stressed out than they used to be — highly scheduled with tremendous demands from school and homework. It’s difficult, at best, to avoid stress in our current world. Unfortunately new research is connecting stress and sugar consumption. Turns out sugar-sweetened beverages may unfortunately be acting as the ultimate comfort food, helping us deal with stressful environments and situations.

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can suppress the hormone cortisol and stress responses in the brain, but diet beverages sweetened with aspartame do not have the same effect, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“This is the first evidence that high sugar – but not aspartame – consumption may relieve stress in humans,” said one of the study’s authors, Kevin D. Laugero, PhD, of the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. “The concern is psychological or emotional stress could trigger the habitual overconsumption of sugar and amplify sugar’s detrimental health effects, including obesity.”

About 35 percent of adults and nearly 17 percent of children nationwide are obese, according to the Society’s Endocrine Facts & Figures report. Sugary drinks such as soda and juice have been linked to this problem. Half of the U.S. population consumes sugar-sweetened drinks on any given day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The parallel-arm, double-masked diet intervention study examined the effects of consuming sugar- and aspartame-sweetened beverages on a group of 19 women between the ages of 18 and 40. The researchers assigned eight women to consume aspartame-sweetened beverages, and 11 to drink sugar-sweetened beverages. For a 12-day period, the women drank one of the assigned beverages at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The participants were instructed not to consumer other sugar-sweetened drinks, including fruit juice.

For 3.5 days prior to and after the study, the women consumed a standardized low-sugar diet and stayed at the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center’s Clinical Research Center.

Before and after the 12-day experimental period, the women underwent functional MRI screenings after performing math tests to gauge the brain’s stress response. The participants also provided saliva samples to measure levels of cortisol – a hormone made by the adrenal glands that is essential for the body’s response to stress.

The researchers found women who drank sugar-sweetened beverages during the study had a diminished cortisol response to the math test, compared to women who were assigned to consume aspartame-sweetened beverages. In addition, the women who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages exhibited more activity in the hippocampus – a part of the brain that is involved in memory and is sensitive to stress – than the women who drank aspartame-sweetened beverages.

The hippocampus typically is less active when the body is under stress. When the study participants drank sugar-sweetened beverages, this response was inhibited. The findings offer new clues that help explain how sugar positively reinforces the temptation to eat comfort food when a person is stressed, Laugero said.

“The results suggest differences in dietary habits may explain why some people underreact to stressful situations and others overreact,” he said. “Although it may be tempting to suppress feelings of stress, a normal reaction to stress is important to good health. Research has linked over- and under-reactivity in neural and endocrine stress systems to poor mental and physical health.”

The urge to comfort ourselves during stressful situations is a common one. Exercise relieves stress and helps us cope so much better than turning to sugary foods and drinks. One helps us stay healthy and the other works against us. FoodFacts.com wants us all to keep this in mind, as our world and our lives become more complicated. Our health really does depend on it.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/sugar-sweetened-beverages-suppress-the-body-s-stress-response

Surprisingly, sugar consumption may be worse for blood pressure than salt

sugar (1)It really seems that every day we get more news about the effects of sugar and salt consumption on our health. We know that there’s too much of both in the processed foods flooding our grocery stores as well as the foods being served in fast food restaurants everywhere. We consume far too much sugar and salt, far too often. We’re aware that too much salt is bad for blood pressure. But did we ever think that sugar may be having the same effect?

Sugar is worse than salt for blood pressure and health, according to a new study published on Thursday.

Two researchers, James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, of St. Luke’s Mid America Hearth Institute and Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, of Montefiore Medical Center, examined how dietary efforts to control high blood pressure have focused on limiting sodium. However, their research found added sugar in processed foods is a large contributor to hypertension than added salt.

More so, the study published in BMJ journal Open Heart argued that the guideline to limit salt intake is misguided and not based on evidence.

Even though the negative effect of salt is not proven, health experts still believe the consumption of salt and sugar should be regulated to avoid poor health.

The researchers studied humans and animals to see how sugar is worse than salt for blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease.

DiNicolantonio and Lucan wrote, “Added sugars probably matter more than dietary sodium for hypertension, and fructose in particular may uniquely increase cardiovascular risk by inciting metabolic dysfunction and increasing blood pressure variability, myocardial oxygen demand, heart rate, and inflammation.”
The most recent version of the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology lifestyle guidelines suggested no more than 2,400 mg of sodium a day to benefit blood pressure.

Though the authors agree salt intake from processed foods should be reduced, they also propose “that the benefits of such recommendations might have less to do with sodium – minimally related to blood pressure and perhaps even inversely related to cardiovascular risk – and more to do with highly-refined carbohydrates.”

After feeding sucrose to rats, the results showed that it stimulated the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This led to increased heart rate, renin secretion, renal sodium retention, and vascular resistance. All of these effects raised blood pressure.

The authors suggest “reducing consumption of added sugars by limiting processed foods containing them.”

FoodFacts.com feels like this is especially bad news for soda consumers — and sugary beverage consumers in general. There are people who drink multiple cans of soda every day. And there are folks that aren’t trying to gage the amount of added sugars in their diets at all. We all need to limit processed foods — if not make an earnest attempt to eliminate them from our diets completely. That is the only way we can be confident that we can avoid the risks of excessive sugar consumption. Changing our diets can prove to improve our health and lengthen our lives!

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/health-wellness/sugar-worse-salt-blood-pressure-01096633#x3IOwiTA4g4G7Egv.99