Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sugar May Be Raising Your Blood Pressure

Most of us know that salt raises blood pressure in many people. When I learned that in medical school almost 40 years ago, I have not touched a salt shaker since. I enjoy having a low normal blood pressure. A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (July, 2010) suggests that sugar, especially the fructose that comes from corn syrup, may also raise blood pressure.

A study team from the University of Colorado in Denver looked at sugar intake among thousands of Americans in a major national nutrition survey between 2003 and 2006. Those who consumed more added sugars such as the fructose in soft drinks had significantly higher blood pressures than those who did not and ate more natural foods such as fresh fruit.

Fructose from corn syrup is a major cause of the obesity epidemic and may also be contributing to the most common chronic disease of adults, high blood pressure.

I have a bold suggestion to make that if followed will improve your health and that of our nation:

Eliminate all soft drinks and fruit drinks from your diet and the rest of your family. Whether with sugar or "sugar free", they adversely affect your health. Drink water instead. If you want caffeine or some other flavor, drink tea (not sweet tea) or a modest amount of coffee, both natural substances. Use a slice of lemon in your water or tea if you prefer to alter the flavor. Get your fruit natually from an orange, apple, bannana or berries, not from juice.

The elimination of soft drinks and fruit drinks would transform the American diet and help us be healthy again. And don't worry about the soda companies. A growing part of their business is bottled water today. We need to move them in the right direction too.