It’s Sugar Awareness Week. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies use, so I thought I’d look at how carbohydrates affect our heart health.
Our food contains 3 types of carbohydrates; sugar, starch and fiber. Carbohydrates can be simple – quickly digested and and send energy (glucose) into your blood stream; or complex – digested slowly and supply a steady release of energy into the blood stream.
Foods with high amounts of simple sugars can raise your blood fat (triglyceride) levels. This can cause damage to our arteries, increase our cholesterol levels, and increase our risks for heart disease. Simple sugars can cause us to gain weight, increase our blood sugar, and increase our risk for diabetes – which also affects our heart health.
When eating foods high in sugar or carbohydrates the American Heart Association suggests that you try to use up as many calories as you consume. They have Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations on their websites that provide food choice suggestions.