There are many fad diets that ebb and flow throughout time targeting people who want a quick weight-loss solution. In the 1930s the Grapefruit Diet was born, and in the 1970s there was the Cookie Diet. On the other hand, there are healthy diets and nutrition programs that require lifestyle modifications especially if you’re suffering from health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. With the health and wellness space being inundated with health gurus and influencers, it’s hard to distinguish what exactly constitutes a healthy diet. Is it all low-fat, or do I just need to watch my carbs? The information gets muddled and it’s can be hard to navigate.
Likewise, we have groups in the food industry trying to sway public interest simply to line pockets at the cost of misinformation.

The erroneous information provided to the public has been widely regarded as common knowledge and accepted as nutritional information. Much like the tobacco industry which used influence and money to cover the detrimental effects of smoking, so too has the sugar industry in covering how sugar affects heart disease. Throughout this article, we’ll explore the misinformation surrounding this dietary component and how sugar plays a role in heart-related health issues.

Isn’t Heart Disease Only Related to a High-Fat Diet?

The myth that a high-fat diet alone causes heart disease is widely held and accepted in our culture, but new research and information has surfaced that refutes it. In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded a study to take a look at how sugar affects the body and then took measures to bury the information when it suggested the harmful impacts it could have. In documents that were discovered at the University of California, San Francisco and later published in JAMA Internal Medicine propose that over five decades relating diet and nutrition to heart disease were formed by the sugar industry. The focus was shaped and a focal point was placed on saturated fat reduction in people’s diets as opposed to sugar in combating heart disease.

What The Documents Revealed

The research and documents from the 1960s headed by the trade group known as the Sugar Research Foundation — today they’re the Sugar Association — began studying the effects on sugars to help relay the information of sugar on heart health, but was abruptly ended when the research pointed to a biological mechanism that might instead bolster heart disease. The sugar industry then took a hard stance that sugar had no role in promoting diseases such as diabetes, obesity, or heart disease. The biggest takeaway from these almost 60-year-old documents is the misinformation and strategy that was imparted to the general public downplaying the serious health effects of sugar.

Why This Information is Relevant to Heart Related Health Concerns

This information is important to explore and understand because, throughout the decades, there has been a debate about the implications of a high-fat and high-sugar diet on the heart. For many years, such an emphasis was placed on reducing fat-intake for heart health and replacing it with low-fat and sugar-laden foods that we can now make a correlation with to the obesity dilemma. Still today, high-fat diets are the pillar of a heart-healthy diet, but slowly, the industry is accepting the role sugar does play and addressing it accordingly.

The common acceptance that dietary fats are the only nutrition components that affect heart health has been demystified, and light has been shed on sugar and the implications it has on heart disease, because it, too, plays a role. Navigating heart-healthy nutrition can be daunting, but by educating yourself and talking with us, you are on your way to a healthier heart!

Cardio Metabolic Institute of New Jersey

At Cardio Metabolic Institute of New Jersey, we want to provide you with the most relevant and cutting-edge information on heart health, to not only prevent heart disease, but to help you tackle any heart-related issue. Connect with us today for an integrated approach to health and wellness that enhance your physical and mental well-being!

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