Dear Burnside News,
I recently read the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s (HSF) position statement on sugar. As president of Doctors Nova Scotia, an association representing a united voice on health care issues such as this, I'm pleased to see the efforts of the HSF to better the health and lives of so many Canadians.
Excess sugar intake is a serious issue in our country. According to the HSF, Canadians currently consume more than 13 per cent of their calorie intake from added sugars. Consuming excess sugar is linked to severe health issues like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke and cancer.
As a cardiac surgeon, I know how important diet and exercise are for good heart health. I also see the negative effects poor diet has on my patients’ health every day. In fact, up to 80 per cent of early heart disease and stroke can be prevented by adopting healthy behaviours, which include eating a healthy diet. Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet is a positive step toward improving your overall health.
Additionally, heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death among Canadians, accounting for a shocking 27.3 per cent of deaths every year.
Today, the HSF is recommending Canadians limit their intake of added or “free” sugars to no more than 10 per cent, or ideally less than five per cent, of their total calorie intake.
The largest contribution of sugar in our diet is sugary beverages. Instead, drink water, low fat milk, eat whole foods as…