Published on June 01, 2018

Overweight? Limiting sugar may improve health fast

Limiting sugary foods and drinks can help with weight management.

Sugar cubesA research review in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association suggests that, for those who are obese, consuming less sugar may also help them gain better health. And it can take as little as a week and a half to start getting healthier.

Reducing Fructose May Improve Cholesterol, Blood Sugar

The review authors say that cutting down on fructose—a simple sugar found in both sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—may be behind the rapid health benefits.

As evidence, the authors cite one of their own recent studies, in which 43 children who were already having health problems due to obesity were fed a low-fructose diet. After just nine days, their blood pressure and cholesterol levels dropped, and their blood sugar levels improved.

On the flip side, eating too much sugar in general—and too much fructose in particular—has been linked to weight gain and obesity. It has also been tied to an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

Limit Added Sugars for Your and Your Family’s Health

Aim to get less than 10 percent of total daily calories from added sugars. In food and drink ingredient lists, look out for HFCS, honey, molasses, syrups (such as corn syrup), and names ending in -ose (such as sucrose), among others.

Then start making less sugary substitutions. For example, sip water flavored with lemon in place of sugar-sweetened soda.