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Cut your sugar, cut your risks

9 days without added sugar led to significant health improvements in obese children :

According to a recent study by scientists in California, after just 9 days of reducing their intake of added sugar, children with chronic metabolic diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure were able to reverse their symptoms.

The lead study author, Robert Lustig, reports “This intervention study is a solid indication that sugar contributes to metabolic syndrome, and is the strongest evidence to date that the negative effects of sugar are not because of calories or obesity.”

In the study, 43 children aged 9–18 who were obese and had at least one other chronic metabolic disorder, such as hypertension, high triglyceride levels or a marker of fatty liver, were given 9 days of “kid-friendly” meals, snacks and beverages that restricted sugar but substituted starchy carbohydrate to maintain the same fat, protein, carbohydrate and calorie levels as their previously reported home diets.

After only 9 days on the sugar-restricted diet, virtually every aspect of the children’s metabolic health improved, including diastolic blood pressure, tri-glycerides, LDL cholesterol and liver function markers. Fasting blood glucose went down, and insulin levels were cut by one-third.

These improvements in metabolic measures came from substituting starch for sugar in processed food—all without changing calories or weight or exercise. This study demonstrates that sugar calories are deadly, because they turn to fat in the liver, driving insulin resistance, and increasing risk for diabetes, heart and liver disease. If you want to concentrate on only one aspect of diet to improve, choose to reduce sugar as the implications seem to be so dramatic.

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