Getting to the Heart of a Healthy Diet: Empty-Calorie Foods
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks and candy that have a lot of sugars. We know that soda and junk food is bad for us. But do we actually know why?
People may think that any food that is low in fat is inherently healthy. This is not the case! For example, soda and hard candy have no fat, but they also have no vitamins, minerals, fiber, or other health-promoting ingredients. What they do have is sugar, and lots of it. And a lot of sugar can add up to a lot of calories.
Eating foods high in sugar and calories can lead to weight gain, and being overweight is a risk factor heart attacks and heart disease.
In addition, sugary foods often take the place of healthier foods. For example, when was the last time you chose a soda over a glass of skim milk or snacked on gummi bears instead of an apple?
Last reviewedSeptember 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.