I’ve learned this the hard way this weekend. Sugar did raise my blood pressure. I take my blood pressure regularly so I know My BP level has been good, until I’ve made this Sweet and Sour Cucumber. It calls for regular white sugar and clear vinegar in the recipe. I heated them together to dissolve and mix the sugar with the vinegar. The end result was very good. I made it twice last week, the second one I prepared last Saturday as side dish. I added some thinly sliced onions and carrots for garnish. One of the best cucumber salads I made. I was happy with it and so did my household.
Then came this chest pain last Sunday. The pain subsided when I took an aspirin and I was able to have a good night and restful sleep. However, when I took my blood pressure this afternoon, my blood pressure was 148, 150 systolic. Before this, my BP level has not gone up since I’ve learned to control my eating habits, which is mostly a Mediterranean diet with lots of veggies and fruits. I can have some bread, or some crackers and even ice cream in some occasions and my blood pressure would not get affected.
“Carbohydrates cause the body to hold on to water. When the water volume increases in our blood, the pressure in our blood vessels increase.
The same can happen when we consume salt.
However, only one of these will cause chronically elevated blood pressure.
Again, too many refined carbohydrates increase water in the blood thus increasing blood pressure. Refined carbs have no nutrients. The nutrients are stripped out in the refining process. As we’ve seen the body must maintain sodium in the bloodstream or significant health problems will ensue. Consider that an intravenous solution of salt water is the first thing given to ER patients.You would be surprised just how many studies exist that shows no connection to salt and hypertension. So forget the studies. Study it in yourself. If you have hypertension, reduce your salt intake for two weeks and do nothing else (you’re probably already doing this). See if that brings down your blood pressure significantly. If not, eliminate all sugar intake in the form of refined sugar and refined carbs for two weeks. See what happens.” FearlessEating.net
“One out of every three US adults has high blood pressure (hypertension). If you’re among them, one of the first recommendations your physician probably gave you was to cut back on salt.
Yet, there’s far more to maintaining a healthy blood pressure than eating a low-salt diet – a strategy that works for some people and fails for others.
In fact, fewer than half of Americans with high blood pressure have their condition under control, and perhaps this is because conventional physicians have been focused on the “wrong white crystals,” namely salt instead of sugar.
One of the primary underlying causes of high blood pressure is related to your body producing too much insulin and leptin in response to a high-carbohydrate (i.e. high sugar) and processed food diet.
New Study: Sugar May be Worse for Your Blood Pressure Than Salt
You’ve probably heard of the DASH diet, which is claimed to be among the most effective for controlling hypertension. It consists largely of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and very low sodium content.
But it’s ALSO low in sugar/fructose. So, while people on DASH diets do tend to show reduced hypertension, the reason for this may not be solely the reduction in salt, but the reduction in sugar.
The same holds true for reducing your intake of processed foods, which are top sources of both heavily processed salt and sugar/fructose. In a new review in the journal Open Heart, the authors also argue that the high consumption of added sugars in the US diet may be more strongly and directly associated with high blood pressure than the consumption of sodium.
Added sugars, particularly fructose, in the US diet may be more strongly related to high blood pressure than salt
Cutting processed foods from your diet may benefit high blood pressure not only because it reduces salt, but more likely because it reduces sugar
Excess sugar in your diet increases blood pressure and heart rate and contributes to inflammation, insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.”
I have not used white sugar for quite sometime in any recipe that calls for white sugar, except last week. I thought, it would not affect me since I have not used it for months. What I have been using if I need to add sugar in my recipe or my oatmeal is Madhava Coconut Sugar. It does not affect my blood pressure. This proves to me that I cannot have simple, white sugar added to any of my foods. My fasting sugar when it was checked last year was normal. I want to keep it as normal as possible. Especially now that I know how sugar can affect my BP more than salt. I also stopped using table salt or processed salt as this type of salt can also raise up my blood pressure.
I have been using Redmond Ancient Fine Sea Salt. This all-natural sea salt comes from the underground salt deposit in Central Utah. The deposit was left there by a pristine ancient sea that covered much of North America millions of years ago. This sea salt has not raised up my blood pressure and I don’t use so much of it either. I’ve read that this type of salt is similar to the sodium content in our own blood. That’s why we cannot totally eliminate sodium in our diet as long as they come from good sources for our body.
“Water, sea salt, and potassium together regulate the water content of the body. Our daily food contains potassium from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables, but not table salt (sodium chloride). That’s why we need to supplement our daily diet with sea salt.”
Definitely, knowledge and research is power!