Heart disease a result of sugar, not fatty foods?

I recently logged onto a site & watched a video made by an american cardiologist who had a heart attack, & he reckons that it was caused by too much sugar, not fat in his diet. I suppose that this does make some sense when you consider the fact that diabetics are especially prone to heart & other circulatory disease. I`d happily cut sugar out of my diet, but I do have a sweet tooth, & food manufacturers are putting way too much of the stuff into their products, even so-called savoury food. Why don`t shops stock more sugar free alternatives? I remember Tesco supermarkets used to stock sugar free chocolate, & I lied it but can`t get it anymore. We should be offered more choice without having to go to a health food store & be charged the earth for it.


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13 Replies

  • Absolutely no doubt in my mind sugar is the worst and if not tackled seriously will bankrupt the NHS.

    Aldi do a very good very low sugar, 70 - 85% dark chocolate.

  • Hi hairyfairy,

    Manufacturers never seem to reduce fat, salt and sugar at the same time in any product. To ensure people like it enough to buy it, they will often reduce one of these and increase one or both of the others. Like you I have a sweet tooth. If I am going to eat chocolate I buy low sugar dark chocolate and keep it in the freezer, so when I have a square it lasts a long time as it melts in my mouth. I find both sugar and salt cause cravings. When in the grip of a craving, I dampen the tip of my finger so that I can pick up four or five grains of salt or sugar, which is enough to fool my tongue into thinking it has had something more. Obviously this should be limited to once or twice a day and no cheating on quantity is allowed. It stops me eating a whole packet of crisps or bar of chocolate. After a couple of weeks of doing without, I find that fruit is often too sweet for me and I actually prefer natural foods with no additions. I'm not saying that I have always been able to keep this up (social occasions can trip me up), but at least it has given me a kick start to adjusting my diet.

  • Especially when you realise that most starch turns to glucose in the body faster than table sugar.

    In nature carbs are a good thing; fuel for the brain. The problem is our culture is being swamped with them.

  • There is so much money to be made from processed food full of sugar/salt/fat that manufacturers will continue to produce more and more of these products. Sugar, in particular, is addictive for many people.

    Michael Moss has written an interesting book on the subject, looking at how manufacturers deliberately produce food that will keep us hooked and coming back for more.


  • Hello,

    Sugar in food, fruits,vegitable and drinks can be confusing! NHS need to spend money on education, there will be ROI and less money spend on medication. The last teo years have been a very long edication for me and am still learning. There are simple photos showing how many cubes of cane sugar in each item, a starting point for education.

  • Sugar in fruit and veg is ok for you because it has fibre with it. The sugar in fruit juice is not ok because there is no fibre.

  • It leaves us only one decision - to stop buying and eating processed food! It has been a difficult road for myself and my husband - me because of having to go dairy free and my husband because he has been told not to have too much salt and cut out coffee and tea because of his anaemia. Reading the labels of our favourite biscuits, cakes and breads is an eye opener! I have always done a lot of baking at home - it is cheaper and with a growing family and now grandchildren, birthday, Easter and Xmas cakes are so much cheaper made at home. I did a study of the recipes of the "bought" biscuits and found that the ratio of sugars to flours and fats was much higher than the recipe for the same biscuit I make at home! What does that tell you! Sugar is used as a preservative. The shelf life of "bought" biscuits and cakes is long - look at the sell by date of some of these products and you will see for yourself. Home made cakes and biscuits don't last (usually because they taste better and get eaten!) but also don't store as long because the ratio of sugars to flours and fats is much lower. Also the calories contained in a portion is much lower!

    The answer is to boycott those things that we know have high sugars (including the savoury things and I agree it is amazing how much sugar is in savoury dishes - look at a tin of beans!!) and try to eat as natural a diet as possible. Keep away from the "factory made" breads, cakes, biscuits, tinned goods and prepared meals and see if there is an alternative in the freezer section with regard to fruit and vegetables - buy fresh is possible in season and make as much as you can at home. I know we all work and we all have to find the time to do these things but even if it is only at weekends we will feel the benefits.

    All the best to you all

  • I did read somewhere that when the fat is taken out of yoghurts for example, the taste is affected and manufacturers add sugar to make it more palatable. Some "diets" tell people to avoid anything labelled "low fat" for this reason.

    One of the Benecol yoghurts contained 14g of sugar as compared to 5g in an own brand cholesterol lowering yoghurt drink. (OK Tesco).

  • At huge expense I bought some of the Benecol yogurts - only once though. They tasted pretty revolting I thought. It's hard to know which to choose though, other than the plain ones which I do buy. With lemon juice and sweetener they are lovely. Next someone will tell me not to use sweetener ;-)

  • I buy the Yeo natural full fat yoghurt and then add fruit of my choice. When I gave up sugar I decided not to use sweetener, as it looked like replacing one addiction with another. The jury seems to be out on the long term effects of sweetener, some do have unpleasant side effects which are very noticeable!

  • I don't know about 'diet' advice! Avoiding the equivalent of roughly 3 teaspoons of sugar in a yoghurt sounds like sound health advice. Either the stuff must taste so disgusting you need to cover it up with a lot of sugar, or the manufacturers want to get you hooked on a really sweet taste and coming back for more...

  • Actually, I think natural yoghurt contains a fair amount of sugar. Not sure how much, I will check during supermarket shop tomorrow. However, I presume this is lactose, so is this better than other forms of added sugar ? I would presume it is, or is it just glucose in another form.

    Also, do you need a certain level of glucose to survive?

  • My plain yoghurt contains about 7 grams of sugar per 100grams, if the Benecol contains 14 grams then I would guess that there must be about 7 grams of added sugar. As you say, yoghurts contain lactose, a natural form of glucose occurring in milk. The sugar that is added to food is sucrose, which is a combination of glucose and fructose. Too much glucose is bad for you (weight gain, etc), but too much fructose is very bad for you. Glucose can be metabolised by all organs, fructose is metabolised in the liver and can cause fatty liver disease, amongst other things. The natural fructose in fruit is ok because it's a smallish amount and is balanced out by the fibre. (I think/hope I've got the science right but it all gets very complicated and my understanding of chemistry is reaching it's limits!).

    As far as I know our bodies can burn fat or glucose as an energy source.

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