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Heart Health

Sugar’s not-so-sweet effects on the heart

June 01, 2020

A sugary diet contributes to weight gain and other factors that boost heart disease risk. Learn healthier ways to satisfy a sweet tooth.

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A treat refers to something that's out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure. Your favorite dessert, perhaps? But given the growing evidence of sugar's damaging effects on health, you may be wondering whether you should shun all added sugar.

"People don't need to completely stay away from added sugar. Sweet foods make eating more enjoyable," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Just make sure to enjoy desserts and other sugary foods and drinks as a treat rather than a daily habit, he says.

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