Saturday, July 3, 2010

Not So "Sweet Suprise" - Fructose Makes Blood Pressure Rise...

High Blood Pressure also known as "The Silent Killer", or medically speaking - Hypertension...  I would bet that everyone reading this knows at least one person that has it.  Over 65 million Americans (1 in every 3) have high blood pressure; odds are you're in a room with one or more of them right now.   There are several risk factors for developing hypertension, some that can be controlled and others that cannot.  The uncontrollable include: age, gender, genetics or family history, and ethnicity.  The controllable are lifestyle related factors such as smoking, inactivity, stress, obesity and last but not least - diet. 

Dietarily speaking, salt has taken most of the heat for causing hypertension, followed closely by fat and red meat.  The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) became popular based on these assumptions.  Now some new research is showing that sugar, namely fructose, may have a roll in the blood pressure game.  Research conducted at the University of Colorado Denver and published in the Journal of the American Nephrology Society, demonstrated that an intake of 74 grams or more of fructose per day (the equivalent of 2.5 sodas) was associated with 26% to 77% higher odds of having high blood pressure.

The timing of this study is GREAT - the Corn Refiners Association is currently pushing its "Sweet Surprise" campaign making high fructose corn syrup seem almost 'healthy'.  (I highly recommend taking in the video commercial on the right hand corner of the page - first rate entertainment for sure!!)  Caution: It may make your blood pressure rise...

I've said it before and I will say it again, and again, and again...  "Sugar is, as sugar does."  Base your diet on lean meats, lots of non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats from avocado, coconut, olive oil, etc., add a little fruit for an occasional treat and "The Silent Killer" will never sneak up on you!!



  1. good find. that website is rediculous.

  2. non kidding, we've been helping our friends change what they eat - this "silent killer" is in just about everything. It is so sad. Great post Amy thanks!

  3. For athletes, recent research suggests that a 2:1 mixture of glucose to fructose in on the bike or run nutrition allows athletes to increase the absorption of calories from 240 to 360.

    Are you suggesting that athletes should not use fructose in this way?

  4. Jim,

    There are 'exceptions' made for athletes in the pre/during/post workout periods. I would definitely recommend that during regular 'day-to-day' activities that athletes focus on lean meats, vegetables, healthy fats, and some sweet potatoes and fruit for their fuel. I would love to talk with you more about this.