Sugar has been in the news with a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine that took a look at sugar intake and deaths from heart disease. The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and included surveys from 1988 through 2010. Some of the findings were things we already know, like most adults in the US consume too much sugar. Some of the findings were new, like the risk of death from cardiovascular disease went up among people with higher sugar intakes, even when their overall diet was healthy. In fact, comparing the people who ate little sugar to those who ate more, the risk of dying from heart disease more than doubled.
The “big five” sources of sugar in the American diet are sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts like cookies and cakes, fruits drinks, dairy desserts including ice cream, and candy. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we keep our intake of sugars and solid fats to 5% to 15% of total calories. What does that mean for you?