Does High Fructose Corn Syrup = High Blood Pressure

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There is yet another study confirming what doctors have been telling us for decades:  a healthy diet is crucial to heart health.  Perhaps the problem lies in the question “what is a healthy diet?”  With so many opinions, fad diets, quick-fix options and the focus being on weight gain/loss, it can be confusing. 

Focusing on high blood pressure (HBP) in US adults without a history of hypertension, Dr. Diana I. Jalal, Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, University of Colorado, and colleagues, investigated whether increased fructose intake from sugars was a contributing factor. 

Jahal says, “We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using the data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003 to 2006) involving 4528 adults without a history of hypertension.”  Using average fructose intake of about 2 ½ sugary soft drinks each day and adjusting for demographics, physical activity, total carbohydrate, alcohol, salt and Vitamin C intake, revealed that additional fructose per day significantly increases the odds of HBP.  “These results suggest that high fructose intake in the form of added sugar, independently associates with higher BP levels among US adults without a history of hypertension.”
What is High-fructose corn syrup?

High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener and preservative. High-fructose corn syrup is made by changing the sugar (glucose) in cornstarch to fructose — another form of sugar. The end product is a combination of fructose and glucose.

What products Contain High-fructose corn syrup?

Because it extends the shelf life of processed foods and is cheaper than sugar, high-fructose corn syrup has become a popular ingredient in many sodas, fruit-flavored drinks and other processed foods.

Suggestions for a healthy heart:

*A daily intake of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains.
*Fresh fruit rather than fruit juice or fruit flavored drinks.
*Drink less soda, and don’t allow sweetened beverages to replace milk, especially for children.
*Exercise – even 15 minutes of walking 3 times a day is better than nothing!

Laura King

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