So, you’ve heard the knock on sugary drinks before. Well, a new study is adding on to it, showing that women who drink at least one per day have a greater risk of heart disease.
But before you comfort yourself by saying you gave up soda a long a time ago, be warned: sodas aren’t the only culprit. Rather, your daily fruit juices could be putting you at risk.
Yes, your morning orange juice is a great source of vitamin C. Perhaps it’s even fortified with vitamin D.
And the other antioxidant-rich “health drinks” also sound great.
But most are simply too good to be true.
These drinks are often sweetened with added sugars that wreak havoc on your heart. Researchers found that women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened fruit drinks per day had a 42% higher risk for heart disease than women who seldom or never did.
What about daily sweetened soda drinkers? They had an increased risk too. But it was 23%, just more than half of the risk for the sweetened juice drinkers.
Although the study is observational and does not prove cause and effect, the health risks of a high sugar diet, and high blood sugar, are well documented. Sugary drinks can influence heart health in several ways like:
- Increased inflammation and oxidative stress
- Insulin resistance
- High blood sugar
- Promote obesity
- Creates an unhealthy cholesterol profile (high LDL/low HDL)
- Contributes to atherosclerosis
- Promotes type-2 diabetes
Okay, so your morning glass of OJ or afternoon fruit juice isn’t as healthy as you thought. What are you supposed to do? If it’s the flavor you’re after, you can always reach for the whole fruit. Oranges and antioxidant-rich berries are by far a superior alternative.
Water is also the number one health drink available, so you can reach for that too.
Unsweetened tea and coffee work well, and carbonated water can suffice for people who love some fizz.
Be careful with what you drink because it can have major implications for your heart and overall health. If you want to reduce the risk of heart disease, leave the sweet beverages on the shelf.