Ditch This Sneaky Snack Additive to Protect Your Heart and Beat Diabetes

Inexpensive processed foods like chips and greasy snacks often contain cheap ingredients that food companies can easily find. However, research shows that one specific ingredient may take a major toll on your heart health and potentially leads to diabetes. A study conducted at the University of Bristol in England highlights that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), commonly found in soft drinks and snack foods, impacts the way fat cells mature. The result is an increased number of inflammatory fat cells in your belly fat that threatens your heart health, and makes the fat become insulin-resistant, making you more susceptible to diabetes.

The Risks of High Fructose Corn Syrup

These findings are particularly concerning for children who have a greater number of fat cells maturing. “Our results suggest that high levels of fructose – which may result from eating a diet high in fructose – throughout childhood may lead to an increase in visceral (abdominal) obesity, which is associated with increased cardio-metabolic risk,” says researcher Georgina Coade.

Abdominal obesity – fat around the middle section of your body – significantly increases your chances of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat is housed in your abdominal cavity, while subcutaneous fat is found primarily under the surface of the skin in various areas of the body.

Although previous studies have demonstrated the damaging effects of fructose on the body fat of lab animals, this new study confirms that it is harmful to human fat as well. The researchers analyzed biopsied fat from over 30 children, studied how it responded to HFCS, and discovered negative outcomes.

The Consequences of Inflammatory Fat Cells

The presence of inflammatory fat cells in your belly can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. These diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for approximately 31% of all global deaths in 2016, according to the World Health Organization.

Furthermore, having inflammatory fat cells in the belly contributes to insulin resistance, which can lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is estimated that 30.3 million individuals in the United States alone have diabetes, and approximately 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed every year.

Recommendations for a Healthier Diet

You can avoid the risks associated with HFCS consumption by making some simple changes to your daily diet. Consider selecting whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, to make up a significant portion of your daily meals. It’s also important to limit your intake of soft drinks, sweets, and processed snack foods, which are typically high in HFCS.

Additionally, staying physically active and maintaining a regular exercise routine will assist with managing your weight and overall health. The American Heart Association advises adults to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, per week.

Final Thoughts

While it may be challenging to completely eliminate HFCS from your diet, making better food choices and maintaining an active lifestyle can significantly reduce its negative impact on your health. By being more mindful of the ingredients in your meals and snacks, you can help prevent the onset of heart disease and diabetes, and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.