Atkins was ahead of his time when it came to demonizing sugar. When U.S.
Dietary Guidelines a decade ago were recommending that individuals could safely consume up to 25%
of their calories in added sugar, Dr. Atkins knew this was contributing to a
whole host of health risks: obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more. And this
continues to be supported by research.
in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed national data from the
past 20 years and found that the 10 percent of people who consumed the most
added sugar (25 percent or more of daily calories) were almost three times more
likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those consuming the least (less
than 10 percent of daily calories), while those with intermediate sugar
consumption had a one-third higher risk, on average. Elevated risk was seen
regardless of body weight, physical activity level, age, sex, race/ethnicity,
overall diet quality, and many other factors.
And the research continues to
show that too much sugar is not good. In a Swedish study in the Journal of Nutrition, people who drank at least two cups of
sugary beverages a day were about 20 percent more likely to suffer a stroke
than those who rarely drank them. And in an analysis of data from 12 clinical trials,
published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, New Zealand
researchers found that relatively high sugar intakes increased blood pressure
by 6 to 8 points, on average. In fact, added sugar probably contributes more to
hypertension than sodium does, concluded a review paper in the journal Open Heart. And
it goes on and on.
Sugary beverages, especially those containing high-fructose
corn syrup, continue to be linked to elevated cholesterol, increased risk of
diabetes and obesity-related deaths. Thanks to all this research, the new
proposed U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends limiting added sugar consumption to
no more than 10% of a person’s daily calorie intake. While it’s encouraging to
see how research can have an impact on our dietary guidelines, is the 10%
recommendation even low enough? On Atkins, you are asked to avoid added sugars
as much as possible, and many have experienced incredible results upon doing
this… weight loss and decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes, while
eliminating sugar cravings and those dreaded blood sugar highs and lows.
Something to consider!