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Experts advise avoiding sugary drinks to improve cholesterol levels, and quench your thirst with pure water.
A study has shown that regular consumption of sugary drinks increases triglyceride levels and lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, known as the “good” cholesterol.
Adults in this study who drank one sugary drink per day had a 98% higher risk of low HDL and high triglycerides — by 53%.
Triglycerides — these are fats found in the blood, and abnormal levels of these fats (lipids) combined with high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of HDL cholesterol can accumulate in the arteries.
< br />Half of American adults suffer from dyslipidemia — a medical term for abnormal lipid levels in the blood.
Dyslipidemia can lead to atherosclerosis, and possible consequences include heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
The research team also tested whether diet drinks or 100% fruit juice is a better option than sugar-sweetened drinks. But they didn't find enough evidence that these drinks reduce the risk of dyslipidemia.
Emerging studies on long-term health benefits of diet soda consumption are inconclusive, so it's reasonable to say that diet drinks should only be indulged occasionally.
For 100% fruit juice, it's best to limit your intake and eat whole fruit whenever possible.
The study analyzed dietary data from 5,900 American adults, as well as changes in cholesterol levels and triglycerides in their blood depending on the frequency and types of drinks they drank.
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