High blood pressure is a leading cause of death in the U.S. with 348,000 deaths documented in 2009. The focus on regulating hyptertension has centered around the consumption of sodium and minimizing a high salt diet. Recent data including over 100,000 patients indicates that sodium intake between 3-6 g/day is associated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events compared with either a higher or lower level of intake.
The new research findings have analyzed other contributing factors and they have identified added sugar prevalent in processed food.
Consuming one 24-ounce soft drink has been shown to cause an average maximum increase in blood pressure of 15/9 mm Hg and the research suggest that “sugar may be much more meaningfully related to blood pressure than sodium, as suggested by a greater magnitude of effect with dietary manipulation.” Higher sugar intake significantly increases systolic (6.9 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (5.6 mm Hg) in trials of 8 weeks or more in duration. This effect is increased to 7.6/6.1 mm Hg, when studies that received funding from the sugar industry are excluded.
Research participants who consumed 25% or more calories from added sugar have an almost threefold increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, according to the research. Even moderate doses of added sugar for short duration may cause harm
The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease, James J DiNicolantonio, et al., 10 December 2014, abstract.