In this radio interview, Dr. Aarush Manchanda, a leading cardiologist, discusses the addictiveness of sugar and what foods we should be swapping in our diet. The interview took place on World Heart Day in a bid to raise more awareness about our heart health and what hidden things can have a detrimental effect on it.
The discussion starts with the widening American waistline. But it’s not just America that has this problem, as Dr. Manchanda is seeing this phenomenon all over the world. People are living a more sedentary life, so this health issue is only going to get worse.
However, one of the easiest ways to tackle this unhealthiness is to make simple food swaps in our diets. It’s a well-known fact that Americans love sweets (even research shows that sugar consumption in the U.S. is much higher than elsewhere) and this is where the problem lies.
What Effect Can Sugar Have on Your Heart Health?
The interviewer suggests that people still believe that fat is worse for you than sugar. But in reality, sugar can be even worse. To make her point, she draws on research where even mice will leave cocaine in favor of sugar!
Dr. Manchanda agrees that sugar is very addictive and that’s why it needs to be considered an addictive substance like alcohol or nicotine. Perhaps, in the not too distant future, there’ll be Sugarholics Anonymous meetings springing up all over America!
Sugar’s hidden in a lot of things, and because of that, it’s worse than fat in a lot of ways. You may be tucking into a croissant, a bag of “health” chips, but high amounts of sugar can be found in these products. Our bodies are intelligent, too, because when they see something in excess, regardless of whether it’s sugar or protein, they’ll convert it into fat. This, however, can be negative for heart health.
It’s all about calories and what we’re putting into our bodies. Anything more than our body requires and we’re going to store more fat.
How Can We Improve Our Heart Health by Swapping Certain Foods?
Carbs are broken down into sugar, so a great way to reduce your sugar intake is to swap bread for lettuce (when you’re having a burger, for example).
Dr. Manchanda believes that when we eat healthily, we all need a cheat day (you heard it from the man himself!), and on his cheat days, he’ll indulge in a sorbet dessert. This still offers the sweetness he craves, but it’s not loaded with enough calories and sugar to feed an entire family for a week.