High blood pressure? Blame the sugar, not the salt!
The bottom line – eat less processed foods.
A new review of research studies suggests that a reduction in the consumption of added sugars and, in particular, processed foods, may translate into decreased rates of hypertension as well as decreased cardiometabolic disease. "It is a little bit frightening that we have been focusing on salt for so long," Richard Krasuski, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. It's an “eye opener”, though he and other cardiologists have noticed that the recommendations to increasingly lower salt intake have not resulted in the expected positive cardiovascular outcomes.
"The controversy here is whether it is the salt or the sugar.... It probably is, at least partially, if not more, related to sugar consumption," Dr. Krasuski concluded after reading the paper. Nevertheless, the bottom line of the article's recommendation should be familiar and comfortable to most physicians and hopefully more and more average layfolks: Eat less processed food.
This review of epidemiological and experimental studies, published in Open Heart, concludes that high-sugar diets may make a significant contribution to cardiometabolic risk. They also suggest that future dietary guidelines recommend that highly refined processed foods be replaced by natural whole foods.
Well, we already knew that, but it's nice to have the science to back things up.
Article reviewed in Medscape. Dec 11, 2014. “Sugar, Not Salt, May Be at Fault for Hypertension”.
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