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Heart Attacks Are Due to SweetsEssay

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Added Sugar Leads to Heart Disease

There are numerous health problems that individuals in the 50-year-old range are well acquainted with in contemporary times. Some of them relate to factors that they have little control over. Some people might fall and injure various parts of their bodies, while others might live in certain parts of the country in which pollutions and intoxicants are prevalent and equally as harmful. Yet there are also some health issues that pertain to people in this population that they have a fair amount of control over. Virtually everyone at this stage of their adult lives has control over what they eat and how they eat it. Additionally, most people in this population have equal access to information about the effects of different types of foods on the human body. Those within this population group, therefore, should know that poor dietary habits can make them particularly susceptible to heart disease which, if left untreated, can seriously impair their lives if not end them. As such, this specific audience should know there is a direct correlation between eating foods steeped in sugar and heart disease which can create a serious problem, and which is easily remedied by changing such dietary habits.

According to writer and food critic Mark Bittman (2007), a diet that contains a surplus of sugar consisting of any variety of foods such as white bread, Coca Cola, yogurt, granola bars, etc. is one of the significant causes of a wide variety of preventable diseases. Heart disease is one of the effects from eating a diet that is high in sugar. Although there are other contributing causes to heart disease (such as a lack of exercise), conditions such as obesity and others that are either caused or exacerbated by too much sugar in the diet definitely increase the tendency to develop this malady. As chef Jamie Oliver observed to a TED audience (2010), "2/3 of this room, today in America are statistically obese." The overall prevalence of heart disease in America is particularly disturbing. The New York Times (2007) noted that "heart disease still kills more Americans than any other disease, and it has for a quarter of a century." Those who are over 30 years old are particularly susceptible to this condition. Indeed, in families in which individuals have a history of heart disease, it is not unusual for someone around 35 to suffer from a heart attack. The propensity to develop this condition only increases with time when people are eating a diet that is high in sugar.

The role of sugar in heart disease is particularly noxious because most people simply attribute to heart attacks and other manifestations of heart disease to not enough exercise or to a surplus of fatty foods. Yet diets that are oversaturated in sugar can pose just as much of a problem as these other causes. In certain cases they can even increase the chances for people to develop heart disease. The crux of the issue of sugar and the other causes for heart diseases is that diets with too much sugar can certainly contribute to corpulence -- so that sugar can actually compound any issues with weight that are attributed to heart disease. Additionally, alone sugar can also become a contributing factor for heart disease. The U.S.A. Today recently reported (2014), "The risk of cardiovascular disease death increases exponentially as you increase your consumption of added sugar." The role of sugar in heart disease is also indicated by the fact that Keith Orr, who had suffered a heart attack when he was 35 before suffering another one when he was in his mid-40's, was working hard to decrease the likelihood of another one occurring by reducing his intake in sugar so that, "his test would show a huge drop in his blood sugar and cholesterol levels" (Kolata).

There is a third aspect of sugar as it relates to heart disease that makes its relationship to this particular problem extremely paramount. The first is that it contributes to heart disease by itself, the second is that it contributes to heart disease by increasing the likelihood towards obesity. The third is the fact that sugar exists in so many varieties of food products (especially those that are available in the United States), that it is extremely difficult to avoid it -- unless one makes a dedicated effort to do so. In addition to the sugar that already exists in such food and beverage products, American consumers have to contend with the prevalence of added sugars, which include: "table sugar, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, molasses, and other caloric sweeteners in prepared and processed foods and beverages" (Hellmich). Thus, Americans have to not only contend with their own desire to eat foods that known to be high in sugar such as deserts and snacks like candy bars, but they also have to contend with the sugars that are found in processed foods. These sugars can certainly contribute to a situation in which the chances for heart disease are greatly increase. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this facet of the problem presented by sugar and heart disease is that people can believe that they are eating something healthy simply because they have chosen to forsake desert, yet still can have high levels of sugar just by eating 'regular' food.

Fortunately, there is an exceedingly viable solution to the problem that sugar and heart disease cause for the quality of life of Americans today. People always have a choice about what they put in their bodies. Although it might be impossible to complete eliminate sugar intake to the body (nor is it desirable to do so), it is possible to greatly reduce it to levels so that it does not become a significant contributing factor towards heart disease. The proposed solution is to eat a diet rich in plants and vegetables, which provide a sort of natural sugar themselves which does not contribute towards heart disease. Whereas processed food products contain added sugars, such sugars do "not occur naturally in fruits, fruit juice, milk and dairy products" (Hellmich), nor in plant-based foods such as vegetables. The proposed solution to the problem that eating sugar creates in terms of increasing the proclivity to heart disease is to substitute the eating of processed foods that are high in sugar with more plants and vegetables. Bittman (2007) explained the outcome of such a simple substitution. "It's not the ingredients in plants; it's the plants. It's not the beta carotene; it's the carrot. The evidence is very clear that plants promote health. This evidence is overwhelming at this point. You eat more plants, you eat less other stuff, you live longer." Part of the reason that a plant-based diet can ameliorate the problem of heart disease caused by overconsumption of sugar is because such vegetables contain their own natural sugars which are not processed or refined. Additionally, vegetables include their own vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to the body and help to increase health. Virtually all of the nutritional supplements that are expensive and are offered to people today as a means of protecting their health and reducing their incidence of disease are found in plants and fruits. Viewed from this perspective, fruits and vegetables are nature's medicine. They have their own sugar which is healthy, and they contain other essential ingredients provide a preventive and curative effect on the body as a whole.

The key distinction between eating a plant-based diet and a processed diet as related to the incidence of heart disease is that the former is natural, whereas the latter is largely man made. Processed foods take ingredients from a number of different sources, not just those related to sugar. However, they frequently include large quantities of sugar because these products are created for mass consumption. Specifically, they are created so that people will buy them. The general logic is that people will buy what they like, they food that tastes good, and food with processed sugar provides the sort of pleasing taste that people will want to purchase. In fact, it tastes so good that heart disease is currently the "leading cause of illness and death in the United States today" (The New York Times). A plant-based diet, however, is all natural, and therefore is not concocted to taste good but to actually be good for the body, and for the reduction of the incidence of heart disease.

In summary, it is quite clear that heart disease is a major issue facing Americans today, particularly those that have reached middle age or later. A diet that is rich in added sugar is a major contributing cause to this affliction. Sugar increases the likelihood of heart disease on its own, and also contributes to obesity which is another cause for heart disease. This problem is also greatly worsened by the fact that so many food products contain added sugars, that it is difficult to find some… [END OF PREVIEW]

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