Sugary diet linked to fatty liver

July 10, 2020 in Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Sugary diet linked to fatty liver

Sugar consumption is linked with larger fat deposits around the heart and in the abdomen, which are risky for health. That's the finding of a new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

When we consume too much sugar the excess is converted to fat and stored. This fat tissue located around the heart and in the abdomen releases chemicals into the body which can be harmful to health.

This observational study examined both sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks) and sugar added to foods and beverages for sweetness. The researchers analysed the association between long-term sugar consumption and fat stores around the heart and other organs.

Data were obtained from an ongoing study in the US that includes 3,070 healthy participants, aged 18 to 30.

Food and beverage intake was measured three times over a 20-year period (1985 to 2005). After 25 years (in 2010) computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest and abdomen were performed to measure fat volumes in the abdomen and around the heart.

The researchers found that sugar intake over the 20-year period was related to fat volumes later in life. Higher intakes of both sugar-sweetened beverages and added sugars were related to greater fat stores around organs in a stepwise fashion.

The findings provide more evidence that consuming too much added sugar and sugary drinks is related to a higher amount of fat deposits that are connected with higher risks of heart disease and diabetes.

The researchers advise reducing the amount of added sugar consumed each day. Have water instead of sugary drinks and choose healthier snacks over foods rich in added sugar like cookies and pastries.

Read food labels to check the amount of added sugar in what you are buying. Look for ingredients like syrups, glucose, fructose, sucrose, and maltose. Being more aware of hidden sugar will help you cut back.

Source: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2020.

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