Cutting processed sugar from kids diets for just 9 days has proved to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Eating too much sugar can have severe liver and overall health effects, as sugar is estimated to kill over 184,000 people a year. This is why health officials routinely advise people to eat less processed sugar.
Latest study published in the Obesity journal raises important questions about how sugar affects body metabolism.
“This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight; rather sugar is metabolically harmful because it’s sugar,” said study leader Dr. Robin Lustig of the University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Lustig and Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California conducted the new little study involving 43 obese Latino and black participants aged 9 to 18, who also had fat associated health problems (metabolic syndrome).
The kids followed a restricted diet that took out the added sugar from sodas, sweets and other junk foods, while keeping the usual number of calorie intake, with startling results. After just nine days, blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol blood sugar and insulin levels decreased, the kids said they felt less hungry and started losing weight.
“We took away only the processed sugar. This ‘child-friendly’ study diet included various no- or low-sugar added processed foods including turkey hot dogs, pizza, bean burritos, baked potato chips, and popcorn that were purchased at local supermarkets.
“Despite intensive efforts to maintain each participant’s body weight at baseline levels, weight decreased by (about two pounds) over the 10 days of intervention.
“They told us it felt like so much more food, even though they were consuming the same number of calories as before, just with significantly less sugar. Some said we were overwhelming them with food.
“I have never seen results as striking or significant in our human studies; after only nine days of fructose restriction, the results are dramatic and consistent from subject to subject”, Dr. Schwarz explained.
Losing weight can improve blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, but even without any weight-loss the children had improved measurements, the team of researchers noted.
“It was surprising to see that nine or 10 days of sugar restriction was so powerful to reduce some of those risk factors for diabetes and lipids.
“There was no sugar rush. It’s what I like to call the tsunami effect”, Dr. Schwarz declared for NBC News.