However, all sugar is not created equal. It’s important to know which type of sugar in what food is doing you serious harm (stoking inflammation, building belly fat and promoting obesity and fatty liver disease) and which kind you can — and even should — enjoy. A new review published in JAMA Open Network discovered that it’s added fructose, especially in beverages, that promotes development of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that includes high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and low levels of good-for-you HDL. In fact, daily consumption of beverages containing a big hit of fructose (sodas, sports and energy drinks) increases your risk for metabolic syndrome by at least 14%.
However, other sources of fructose found in foods such as yogurt and fresh fruit are actually associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. That’s because the naturally present fructose is balanced by healthful nutrients and fiber, and those foods satisfy your hunger, while the calories in a beverage with added sugar don’t. So you don’t have to give up all sweets to stay healthy, just go for two to three servings of fruit, especially berries, daily with a dollop of lowfat yogurt.
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