Sugar: Enemy # 1 at risk of hypertension

We have always the danger of hypertension associated with a diet high in sodium, but maybe it’s time to expand or clarify this concept, since we now know that sugar is the No. 1 enemy at risk for hypertension.

Until now the most general and popular method, to combat hypertension, was to moderate the daily consumption of salt in our diet. Well, it seems that the key lies not there, because the benefits appear to be relatively small, but in the control of the consumption of added sugar.

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What did we know so far?

What we knew so far was that the risk factors in high blood pressure problems came from the hand of relatives, snuff history, age and high salt intake.

We knew that all these factors and especially the high salt intake, in 70% of cases through processed foods, caused fluid retention in the body and increase the amount of blood, resulting in greater Pressure on the arteries.

The result of these data, and blaming much of the problem of hypertension salt intake has been recommended that the daily intake of sodium is between 3-6g daily, to prevent cardiovascular and kidney problems.

But following recent studies, it seems that what we knew so far was only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, a high consumption of sodium above the recommended daily amounts, will negatively influence the risk of blood pressure; But there are other factors, such as sugar, that are more directly related to this problem.

Beware of added sugar consumption

According to research, a high consumption of sucrose will be directly related to an increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The study was conducted with more than 8 weeks, so that people who exceed a consumption of 25% of calories from sugar tests will have a three times greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

In addition, a high consumption of fructose (monosaccharide which is part of sucrose), greater than 25 g / day, decreases the concentration of nitric oxide(compound that helps dilate veins and arteries), increases heart rate, vascular resistance and promotes Renal retention of sodium.

As you can see, sugar and what we consider a No. 1 enemy not only in problems of obesity and overweight, but when it comes to raising blood pressure and our demand for myocardial oxygen.

According to authors of the study Open Heart declare:

“It is time that the committees that create guidelines divert attention from the salt and bring more attention to the probably most important food additive: the sugar.

“A reduction in the consumption of added sugars, especially fructose, and particularly in the quantities and contexts of varieties produced industrially, would not only help curb rates of hypertension, but it could also help address the broader problems related to the disease cardiometabolic. “

Take precautions …

Some time ago I already talked about some tips or guidelines when reducing daily salt intake : Avoid sauces, not having salt shakers on the table, season with alternative spices, etc … but now we know that even more important is control the amount of sugar we take.

From platforms such as Action on Sugar, present in the US and UK and studying the risk of high sugar intake, they make us sharers in the amount of added sugar that is taken in everyday products, such as a simple can of tomato (300g / 4 tablespoons sugar) and even in products classified, somewhat misleadingly, as low- fat or 0%, and yet contain high concentrations of added sugar.

Take fresh foods and avoid, as far as possible, the consumption of industrialized and processed products, the main source of high concentrations of sodium and added sugars, will be the first step to get a good cardiovascular health .

In a next post we ‘ll talk a little more about some strategies and factors to consider for preventing and treating the problem of hypertension.

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