A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, as the song said, but more than six spoonfuls of sugar a day may end up putting you down.
That’s the takeaway from researchers in China, who have declared limiting your sugar intake is a major step you can take to live longer, since too much of the sweet stuff puts you at risk for some 45 different health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and even depression.
The researchers took a deep dive into 73 studies listed in more than 8,600 articles on the topic.
In fact, drinking just 8 ounces of sugary drinks per day was linked to a 17% higher risk of coronary heart disease and a four-percent higher risk of death overall.
The study, which was published in the BMJ, noted, “Significant harmful associations were found between dietary sugar consumption and 18 endocrine or metabolic outcomes including diabetes, gout and obesity; 10 cardiovascular outcomes including high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke; seven cancer outcomes including breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer; and 10 other outcomes including asthma, tooth decay, depression and death.”
And for those who think that fructose — that is, fruit-derived sugar — is better, well, think again. Some of the studies suggested 25 grams per day of fructose was connected to a 22% increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
While the researchers dealt with intentionally consumed sweet stuff, like soda and candy, they don’t expressly mention the disturbing fact that sugar — particularly high fructose corn syrup — is virtually everywhere in modern processed foods in the U.S., even in products you wouldn’t think of as “sweet stuff,” like ketchup, breakfast cereals and spaghetti sauce.