Avera Medical Minute AHH: Sugar Drinks and Your Heart Health - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AHH: Sugar Drinks and Your Heart Health

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We all know water is the best thing for us to drink but many still succumb to the craving of a sugar-sweetened beverage. But do you really know the effect that drink choice has on your health?

Diet plays a big role in your overall health, but that doesn't mean it's only about what you eat.

"A lot of times when looking at a food product you think if its fat-free you think it's fine for me to consume and people over-consume sugar whether it's in the form of candy but more than likely it's in their sodas or their juices or their beverages that they choose." Said Nikki Ver Steeg, a registered dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital.

For Amber Barron, she turns to soda.

"I'm a big Coke and Mountain Dew drinker, unfortunately." Said Barron.

Sugar may be sweet but when it comes to heart health it's actually rather sour.

"Sugar is a huge part of inflammation and inflammation is a risk factor in heart disease it also when you do it an excess can contribute to belly fat and belly fat is a very big risk factor related to her disease because it increases your chance of diabetes." Said Ver Steeg.

As we age it becomes much more difficult to lose the weight we build up. But for many people the refreshing flavors overshadow the health concerns.

"I think about it, I think about it when I'm drinking it but unfortunately it's not enough to stop me... Just yet." Said Barron.

So the question then becomes: do you know how much sugar is in your beverage of choice? To help drive the point home, we're using the gum-drop equivalent for each drink.

"Most of us laugh when we see them all out on the table because most of us would not consume that many on purpose but we feel pretty easily we could drink this or drink this Gatorade." Said Ver Steeg.

That Gatorade is made up of 28 gum drops. Amber's Mountain Dew? That's the same as drinking 39 gum drops.

"I look at that and I can't even think how I get the Mountain Dew down knowing what's in it! honestly!" Said Barron.

"When you're eating one by one you pay attention but when you're drinking it's easy to be able to over consumer those beverages." Said Ver Steeg.

Beverages, whether it's coffee or soda, are consumed many times out of habit. There are even people choose to replace their meals with a cappuccino.

"Not only is it the sugar you're taking in but what are you missing out on? You could be missing out on all kinds of nutrients and proteins that we need and you're skipping it and having a coffee drink or something." Said Ver Steeg.

"I'm one of those people that will drink that big cup of Starbucks as my breakfast and I know that's not what I should be doing so yeah... I'm trying to get better." Said Barron.

The moral of the story? All things in moderation. Water is still the best option for your overall health, but that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself every now and then. Which means Amber doesn't have to completely give up her daily Dew.

"I wish I could say I would but we are taking baby steps lately." Said Barron.

Although sugar is the focus of this story that doesn't mean sugar-free or diet sodas are the answer. They are just as questionable to your health due to the chemical substitutes and they do not promote weight loss. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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