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What you've always thought about high blood pressure may be wrong! Sugars have more impact on your heart than previously presumed
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Lowering high blood pressure and preventing heart disease is vital; heart disease is the number one cause of premature death in the developed world.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Studies show high blood pressure is heart disease's most important risk factor, accounting for almost 350,000 deaths in the United States in 2009 and costing more than $50 billion each year.
A new study urges added sugars, rather than added salt, are likely to play a leading part in raising blood pressure and triggering heart disease.
Traditionally, salt has been thought of as the greater factor in high blood pressure, but doctors are now insisting we focus on the effects of sugars.
"Sugar may be much more meaningfully related to blood pressure than sodium, as suggested by a greater magnitude of effect with dietary manipulation," the study found. "Compelling evidence from basic science, population studies, and clinical trials implicates sugars, and particularly the monosaccharide fructose, as playing a major role in the development of hypertension (high blood pressure)."
According to the study, in the 1700s, people only consumed a few pounds of sugar a year. Current estimates suggest the average consumption in the U.S. is between 77 to 152 pounds a year.
"Worldwide, sugar sweetened beverage consumption has been implicated in 180,000 deaths a year," the study states.
UK and U.S. teenagers, most concerned for, are consuming added sugars up to 16 times the recommended limit.
"Just as most dietary sodium does not come from the salt shaker, most dietary sugar does not come from the sugar bowl," according to the study.
Reducing consumption of processed foods loaded with added sugars is a great start in reducing total intake of sugar.
Although reducing sugar has taken the forefront in the battle of reducing heart disease, professor of cardiovascular medicine, Francesco Cappuccio warns placing too much emphasis on reducing sugar and ignoring salt is deceitful.
"Both should be targeted at population level for an effective approach to cardiovascular prevention," he explained. "This shift in attention from salt to sugar is scientifically unnecessary and unsupported, and it reminds me of a well-rehearsed tactic used by industry and pseudoscience to divert public attention."
It is necessary to not only reduce sugar intake to lower blood pressure, but to continue managing sodium absorption as well.
Both have become leading causes in high blood pressure. If we plan on reducing the number of fatalities tied with heart disease, the focus needs to be shared between both sugars and salts.
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