Americans, on average, consume 22 tsp. of sugar daily. That’s bad news as scientists overwhelmingly agree that sugar revs up your liver’s production of cholesterol and triglycerides–both factors that are linked to a higher risk of heart disease. They also say that reducing your intake of sugar to just half of that amount can help keep your heart healthy. Here are some suggestions to help you keep your heart healthy.
- Avoid hidden sugars. When buying processed foods, check the labels to make sure you are buying the foods with the fewest carb grams per serving. Also be sure to scan the list of ingredients and try to avoid those ending in “ose” as they are a form of sugar.
- Stop sugar cravings. A recent study has shown that by eating one cup of grapes daily, you can steady your insulin production and help sugar cravings disappear in as little as 72 hours. Another way to stop sugar cravings is to take the herb gymnema sylvestre which help suppress those cravings as well as slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This herb, which can be found in health-food stores, also slows the conversion of blood sugar into body fat.
- Drink sugar-free beverages. Steer clear of sugar sodas. If you’ve been drinking two sodas daily, you can reduce your sugar consumption by one pound per week if you stop this habit.
- Protect your heart with fat. Replace your sugar calories with full-fall dairy, salad dressings and peanut butter. By doing so, you canlower your heart disease risk by as much as 25%. This will raise your levels of artery-clearing HDL cholesterol and lowering your triglyceride level as much as 50%. Modest amounts of fat also improve your liver metabolism, which is key to keeping your blood fats in a healthy balance.
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