Coke, much loved the world over, is a major sugar delivery system, and should be treated as a rare delight.
A Coke a day significantly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. It’s not just Coke: any soft drink, fruit juice, candy bar, baked sweets: any source of added sugar increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
These findings add to the growing body of evidence that all point to one basic conclusion: sugar is trouble. It’s a killer.
In fact, there is a notion gaining steam in scientific circles that sugar causes many of the same problems as alcohol. While sugar has been rightly demonized for providing “empty calories,” the greater issue may be its toxic effects on our hormones and internal organs.
“We may be thinking about obesity and chronic disease in the wrong way,” writes Laura Schmidt, Professor of Medicine at UCSF, in an article for CNN. “Most experts are worried about sugar because it's "empty calories" that make people fat. But what leads to chronic disease is actually something called metabolic syndrome, which can be caused by the toxic effects of sugar.”
Hughes cites raised blood pressure, hormone disruption and damage to the pancreas and liver as major sources of the havoc wreaked by sugar.
So what can you do? Easy: eat less sugar. Substitute fruit in for other sweets and desserts, stay away from soft drinks, and drink more water.
It is also worth considering a number of policy changes to nudge our food choices in the right direction, like a small tax on refined sugars and policies that make it easier to buy and sell produce.
Yes, sugar is delicious, but start to cut back and the sweeter sweets will look less appetizing as your body finds it likes not being slammed with a toxic substance day after day.