Overdoing it on sweets can hurt your heart

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- It's easy to have a sweet tooth on Valentine's Day, but you might want to go easy on the sugar. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control finds added sugar increases your risk of death from heart disease.

Valentine's Day is not only for your sweetheart but for your actual heart. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In 2010 adults consumed about 15% of their daily calories from added sugars.

"Despite the technology that we have we still cannot prevent the disease from happening," said St. Bernards cardiologist, Dr. Max Arroyo. "Still to this day, 30 to 40% of heart attacks do not make it to the hospital and they die at home or before reaching help."

According to the CDC 1 out of every 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Arroyo said heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions.

"Coronary disease is when you have blockage in the coronary arteries which are the arteries which are the arteries that bring food and oxygen supply to your heart," he said.

Vascular disease is another form of heart disease and affects the  arteries that go to the rest of your body. And on days like today, you might want to cut back on the sugar.

"One of the main risk factors to vascular disease is diabetes," Arroyo said. "The diet is very important in order to prevent or control your diabetes better."

Arroyo said early detection along with prevention is the key to a healthy heart.

"Smoking is a big problem so don't smoke, exercise helps you keep your weight stable and keep your weight down, and I think the cornerstone is to have a balanced diet," he said.

He said you should also pay attention to the warning signs of a heart attack.

"Chest pains or chest tightness when you do exercise, lack of capacity of doing exercises that you were use to doing before," Arroyo said. " Shortness of breath, not able to walk because of pain and cramps in the leg."

It's important to remember that the symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person.

For more information on heart health, click here.

For tips to prevent heart disease,click here.

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