Dumping packets of sugar in your morning coffee isn’t just bad news for your waistline; it may also have a surprising impact on heart health.
In a study of more than 5,900 individuals involved in the Framingham Heart Study, guzzling back more than 12 ounces per day of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks and fruit-flavored drinks was associated with a 53% higher risk of having high triglyceride levels and a 98% higher likelihood of having low HDL cholesterol, compared with drinking lesser amounts. Both of these blood lipid measures can be considered independent risk factors for heart disease.
Consuming sugary beverages increases the amount of fructose that is available to the liver. The fructose can then be used to produce fatty acids and triglycerides, which can lead to a problematic lipid profile. This further drives home the value of emphasizing unsweetened drinks like water and tea at the expense of the sweet stuff.
The study appeared in JAMA.