Sugar, Not Salt, May Be at Fault for Hypertension

Lara Pullen

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. In particular, a new review article suggests that sugar, not salt, appears to contribute to the majority of the hypertension risk associated with processed food.

The conclusion that sugar represents a greater danger to the heart than salt, Dr Krasuski said, was an "eye opener." He acknowledged, though, that he should have anticipated it. He and other cardiologists have noticed that the recommendations to increasingly lower salt intake have not resulted in the expected positive cardiovascular outcomes.

The article by Dr DiNicolantanio and Dr Lucan will likely be controversial because it contradicts current assumptions about the relationship between diet and cardiovascular disease. "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.

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