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The Main Offender For High Blood Pressure? The Sweet Stuff.


Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of premature death in the developed world, with hypertension being the most significant risk factor.

Hypertension is maintaining a high blood pressure for prolonged periods.

Cardiovascular research scientist James DiNicolantonio states, “A couple of hundred years ago hypertension didn’t even exist, and as soon as sugar consumption started to increase so did hypertension.”

Two new studies on blood pressure produced surprising results. US scientists found no direct link between high salt intake and high blood pressure, as previously thought. Meanwhile, the ‘American Journal of Cardiology’ revealed sugar can raise blood pressure and that the link between sugar and heart health has been greatly underestimated. Research has shown that high sugar levels affect a key area in the brain that causes the heart rate to speed up and therefore makes blood pressure rise. It is also thought that sugar may cause a spike in our insulin levels - a hormone that also increases the heart rate.

The current suggested daily sugar intake limit is no more the 5-6 teaspoons per day for women, and no more than 7-8 for men. But research has shown that the average person consumes up to 15 teaspoons of sugar every day. This is partially down to the hidden sugars within processed foods and drinks.

DiNicolantonio states that, “Just as most dietary sodium does not come from the salt shaker, most dietary sugar does not come from the sugar bowl; reducing consumption of added sugars by limiting processed foods containing them would be a good place to start.”

Researchers at Louisiana State University recently conducted an 18-month study on 810 people with high blood pressure. One of their goals was to evaluate how diet affected blood pressure. The published results stated that overweight adults with high blood pressure who drank one less serving of sugary soda per day had a significant decline in blood pressure after 18 months.

Associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, Mike Knapton explains that the best way to avoid high blood pressure is through eating a balanced diet.

We would be inclined to agree with Mike Knapton. It is true, as a nation we eat far too many processed foods and as a result, we consume both too much salt and too much sugar. Having high quantities of either will inevitably take its toll on your health and wellbeing.

Here at The Healthy Employee, we advocate real food for the best possible lifestyle. Helping enable you to feel and perform at your peak each and every day.


For more tips on looking after your heart, click here

The importance of your nutritional intake, and how to perfect it!

If you are part of a company and would like to find out more about our healthy eating services please call 0845 533 5302.

If you are an individual and are interested in our 12 week online healthy eating programme you can find out more - here. When you're ready you can login to My Healthy Eating Programme using the login button at the top and entering the code VIP10 into the register now box. The cost of the 12 week programme for an individual is £49.99 and we have corporate rates available upon request. 


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