Benefits of Reducing Sugar Consumption

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and Touro University California found that reducing dietary sugar from 28% of daily calories to 10% for just 10 days resulted in a significant improvement in blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and overall weight. Fructose intake was reduced from 12% to 4%.

The interesting thing is that the total calorie and carbohydrate intake of all participants remained the same. They simply replaced added sugars with starches keeping calories and the ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat the same.

The study included 43 adolescents between 9 and 18 who were obese and had at least one other metabolic disorder like high blood pressure or high triglycerides.

Food choices were “kid friendly”. Added sugar was replaced with foods like bagels, cereals, pasta and fruit along with turkey hot dogs, potato chips and pizza.

The researchers wanted to strictly limit the change to added sugar consumption keeping the balance of the diet and even individual weight constant to see if just reducing sugar would have a beneficial effect. Participants were told to weigh themselves on a daily basis. If their weight went down, they were given more low sugar foods.

After just nine days diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5mm, triglycerides were down 33 points, LDL cholesterol was down 10 points, fasting blood sugar was down 5 points and insulin levels were reduced 33% along with improved liver function.

“Many people drastically cut out fruit and other carbohydrates to improve metabolic health but this study shows that it is added sugar that is the real culprit. Based on previous studies, if refined grain products were replaced with whole grain foods along with eliminating added sugar, results would have been even more profound,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged.

Although the study was small and did not include a control group, it still is worth consideration since health experts around the world are increasingly citing the adverse effects of added sugar. The World Health Organization currently recommends added sugar be less than 10% of total daily calories. To put this in perspective, just one typical 20-ounce soda would put most adults over the daily limit.

Griesel adds, “When people actually start looking at labels they are surprised to find how much added sugar there is in the products they are buying. If you are eating mostly prepared and packaged foods and eat at restaurants often, it is almost impossible to keep sugar and sodium under the ideal limits.”

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