Sugar Raises Blood Pressure.
If you’ve been a longtime reader of mine, you know my views on sugar and problems it causes.
Some researchers claim sugar has killed more people than any other food ingredient in history. From the unbiased, not funded by some sugar related industry, information I’ve read and seen over the years, I have to agree with them.
Finally, mainstream medicine has discovered that sugar may be a risk factor for hypertension and heart disease. Lots of research studies have come to the same conclusions and I, for one, have been writing about the health hazards of sugars for years. The researchers in the latest study checked the sugar habits of 4,528 participating American adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NATHANES) for a three year period. Then, they calculated the effect of added sugars on the participant’s blood pressure.
According to the study, found in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, those who consumed the most added sugar also had the highest blood pressure. Seventy four grams or more of added sugar per day was enough to increase the likelihood of blood pressure levels reaching 160/100, or higher, by seventy seven percent.
How much is seventy four grams of sugar? Let’s look at it in quantities most of us can understand. Two and a half twenty ounce bottles of Coke, a teaspoon in each morning cup of coffee or the amount found in what most people eat for lunch is enough to put you over the top. The participants in the study ate their normal diets and the largest majority consumed more than seventy four grams. Processed sugars and natural sugars are not the same.
The Arabs were the first to discover how to process the type of sugar we find in most foods we eat today. When they discovered it, it was restricted to medicinal uses only. That was until the sheiks and harems found they could get a sugar high. Soon, the common person was on to it and then the Crusaders took it back for the rest of the world to get sick over.
The conclusion of the NATHANES study was: diets high in processed foods, foods high in carbohydrates and high in sugars lead to higher blood pressure. Diets low in carbohydrates, low in processed foods and low in sugars promoted lower blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure levels increase the risk of heart attack. Diabetes used to be known as “sugar diabetes” for good reason. Sugar may give you a rush but over the long haul, sugar lowers energy levels and is a major contributor to fat cell retention. You may crave it, but there is no biological, human need for processed, unnatural sugars.
A good friend, who has kept notes on sugar consumption, found that every time she eats sugar, she snores. We eat very little sugar and don’t keep it in the house. Keep temptation from my door! When we go to a party or potluck, I can squeak by if I eat a small child’s portion of dessert. Any more than that and I sweat all night, even on cold nights.
When I was doing heavy athletics, sponsors expected me to perform. If I ate sugary foods, I would get flu like symptoms. After cleaning up my diet and eliminating sugars, the symptoms would go away. I love ice cream and that has been the hardest for me to give up. Celinda’s home made ice cream doesn’t cause problems.
First, make almond, walnut or sunflower milk by putting one cup of nuts in the blender and then, a cup at a time, filling the blender with water. The nut and water is blended, then half the mixture is removed and put in a jar in the refrigerator. That way we have nut milk for cereals or as an addition to other recipes. We keep over ripe bananas in the freezer, I like them on my cereal and as an after dinner treat. Frozen bananas are added to the blender, you have to experiment to find the right amount for you, the blender is filled with nut milk avd bananas then blended until the blender starts to labor. If you want a milk shake, add more nut milk and fewer bananas.
If you read labels you’ll find ingredients in even the best ice cream you probably can’t pronounce. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. HFCS, high fructose corn syrup is easy to pronounce and even easier on the taste buds. But unnatural fructose, like HFCS, was the number one culprit in the NATHANES research study.
If you can find the book Sugar Blues by William Duffy, long out of print, you’ll get a good look at a long and exhaustive study into real effects of sugar on real people in real life. We can believe what we want. But, Duffy’s book wasn’t funded by the sugar industry or anyone else with a vested interest.