(NaturalNews) The dangers of sugar on oral health are heavily documented. Its adverse effects on weight and obesity, issues that are becoming increasingly common, have been emphasized a great deal in the past few decades as well. Now, new hazards when it comes to consuming too much sugar can be added to the roster: heart disease and cancer.
Study reveals surprising figures
A study published in early February 2014 in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal states that adults in the United States consume amounts that are greater than the recommended 10 percent of their calories from foods and drinks with additional sugar added. This puts the 71.4 percent of those people who consume that amount of sugar at an increased risk of death as a result of cardiovascular disease.
In order to reach that conclusion, researchers studied data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) to compare figures on sugar consumption over time in order to determine its effect on health. The NHANES is a huge study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is updated every year. In the NHANES, added sugars were defined as those that are not naturally occurring, such as the ones in fruit juices and fruit, but those that are added when foods are processed by manufacturers. Some examples of these foods include ready-to-eat cereals, fruit drinks, yeast breads, candy, grain-based desserts and dairy desserts.
Steady increase in sugar consumption
The figures studied show a stunning increase in the consumption of added sugars. The average American adult got about 15.7 percent of the calories in their diet from added sugar between 1988 and 1994. Between 1999 and 2004, that figure jumped to 16.8 percent before falling to 14.9 percent between the years of 2005 and 2010. The most recently data, however, reveal that about 10 percent of Americans consumed more than 25 percent of their calories from added sugar.
Sugar metabolizes differently than other foods
The type of sugar that is consumed makes a difference in the health of the body. Studies have shown that fructose causes cancer cells to metabolize at a faster rate than other sugars, such as glucose. While the study used pancreatic cancer cells to study the effects of different sugars, the results call into question the feeling that the two sugars can be used interchangeably with no arguable differences.
Not a new theory
While the possibility of sugar adversely affecting the health, such as increasing the chances of contracting cancer, was first raised nearly 80 years ago, its consumption is rarely addressed by the cancer programs of today. Fructose is proving to be the most harmful of all the types of sugar studies thus far.
For the best results, it is a good idea to watch the intake of added sugar in the diet. Eating more foods with natural sugars can go a long way to satisfying a sweet tooth without compromising health.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.