Sounds pretty simple, right? Except in a society overwhelmed by processed foods loaded with added sugar, keeping your sugar (or blood pressure) in check can be a major challenge. But let’s leave the topic of limiting sugar consumption from all sources for another day, and instead focus on sugar from a single source: sugar-sweetened beverages. According to a study published in the June 2010 issue of Circulation (a journal of the American Heart Association), a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption of one serving per day reduced systolic blood pressure in adults by 1.8 mg Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.1 mg Hg over 18 months. (If your blood pressure is 120-75, for example, your systolic blood pressure is 120 and your diastolic blood pressure is 75.) Diet beverage consumption and caffeine intake did not appear to be associated with blood pressure.
Not much of a reduction, you say? Tell that to someone with high blood pressure who’s desperately trying to get their BP into the safe range and doesn’t want to rely on medication to do it. Even a small reduction, particularly if all they have to do is drink less sugar-sweetened beverages, can make a big difference. In fact, it might save their life. Your doctor can tell you more – much more- about the considerable dangers of sugar and high blood pressure.
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