Still Popping That Top? Here’s How Soda Pop Will Kill You
Even sodas that are NOT sweetened with high fructose corn syrup are a source of empty sugar calories. Worse, they’re one of the biggest reasons most American’s are getting too much sugar in the diet. Worse still, they’re a big source of fructose in most people’s diets. Even soda sweetened with cane sugar—or sucrose—contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose. When cheaper high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as a sweetener, as it is in many packaged foods and drinks, the ratio increases slightly to 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
As I mentioned recently, fructose has emerged as a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Fructose is a simple sugar like glucose. As its name implies, it’s the kind of natural sugar found in most fruits. When we consume fruit, fructose doesn’t appear to do any harm. But fructose from added sources, whether sucrose or HFCS—has recently emerged as a toxic threat to American’s heart health. Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, and in much of the rest of the world. So this is big news. Most of us can’t afford to ignore it.
In this country, we tend to equate sweets with love. I propose that we redefine that time-honored, but highly misguided, tradition. Would you give arsenic to a loved one? How about cyanide? I don’t want to sound melodramatic, and I’m not suggesting that sugar kills as quickly as either of those notorious poisons. But make no mistake. Equating sugar with love simply doesn’t make sense, given what we now know about sugar’s effects on the body.
If I told you that added fructose is carcinogenic, you’d probably think twice before indulging in one more soda pop. But guess what? Cancer is a distant second when it comes to the leading causes of death. Heart disease is firmly in first place. And fructose has been linked directly to heart disease risk.
So if you or someone you care about has high blood pressure, or is at risk for diabetes, obesity, or any number of other common diseases, do yourself a favor and share this news. Sugar—especially fructose—has emerged as the single greatest dietary risk factor for cardiovascular disease. And there’s nothing sweet about that.