Heart Group Warns Against Sugar

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(CNN) -- A sweet tooth could lead to a heart attack, the American Heart Association warns.

Americans are consuming more than 22 teaspoons of sugar each day. And the added sweetness could lead to obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke, the group says.

The organization warned Americans to cut back on sugar in statement released Monday.

"Sugar has no nutritional value other than to provide calories," said Rachel K. Johnson, lead author of the association's statement. "Consuming foods and beverages with excessive amounts of added sugars displaces more nutritious foods and beverages for many people."

The statement focuses on added sugar, which it defined as sugars and syrups added to food during processing or preparation.

Most women should consume no more than 100 calories, or six teaspoons of this added sugar, a day. Men should not consume more than 150 calories, or nine teaspoons, the Heart Association said.

The No. 1 source of added sugar is soda, it added.

"One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 130 calories and eight teaspoons of sugar," Johnson said.

The Heart Association recommended cutting sugar and maintaining a diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, lean meat, poultry and fish.

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