A ground-breaking study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in September 2016 has implied that for nearly 60 years, the sugar industry was hiding a major secret.
The report revealed that the Sugar Research Foundation – now known as the Sugar Association – was responsible for secretly paying nutrition scientists to publish findings that would transition the cause of heart disease from sugar, to fat and cholesterol, reported NPR.
Sugar Industry Deceit
In searching through internal documents that were decades old, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, concluded that the sugar industry wanted to minimize the correlation between sugar and cardiovascular health. Downplaying its effects on the heart and on health overall, the sugar industry effectively switched the blame from sugar and sweeteners to fats and cholesterol in the 1960s by funding the work of professors at the Harvard School of Public Health. This nutritional trend that pointed toward fats as the culprit, continued for decades.
"What struck me was that I thought the evidence the researchers summarized in the review was stronger and more consistent for a sugar effect [on coronary heart disease] than for a fat effect," said study author Stanton Glantz of the UCSF. "No matter how good the evidence was linking sugar to heart disease, there was something wrong with it. But for fat, the evidence was fine. They set up a false dichotomy."
According to the authors of the latest study however, the point was not to focus on the link between sugar and heart health, but instead to highlight that the SRF aimed to sway scientific data in its favor, reported TIME. Doing so would have effectively helped their business. Though they do not necessarily believe that the industry physically altered the findings in the published paper, the researchers did note that:
"There is 'circumstantial' evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review," according to TIME.
The Real Culprit of Heart Health
Regardless of this recent revelation that major scientific findings were likely influenced in the favor of the sugar industry, the nation at large is still under a cloud of deceit. Sugar, fat and cholesterol – and everything in between – are all to blame. Consuming a Standard American Diet is the fastest path to heart disease, the leading killer in the U.S. Conversely however, according to our experts at Hallelujah Acres, the best way toward optimal heart health is through a primarily raw, plant-based diet.
Eating raw fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and organic whole grains can help support strong heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Are you ready to reclaim your health?