A new review article suggests sugar, not salt, appears to contribute to the majority of the hypertension risk associated with processed food.
In other words, salt isn’t the high blood pressure bandit it’s been made out to be. Sugar is.
The researchers went on to say that cutting back on consumption of added sugar may translate into decreased rates of hypertension as well as decreased cardiometabolic disease.
What joy to my eyes, heart, and soul when I read this. Of course… if my message is finally being heard, I suppose that means I might be out of a job soon. But hey, if it means millions of people (and the government) finally see the light, then I’m more than happy to take one for the team and retire to a lovely beach somewhere.
But for now, let me just share some more details about this long-awaited conclusion.
The authors reviewed recent epidemiological and experimental studies, and concluded that high-sugar diets may make a significant contribution to cardiometabolic risk. They also suggest that future dietary guidelines recommend that highly refined processed foods be replaced by natural whole foods. What a revolutionary concept! (At least, it was when I first introduced it nearly a decade ago in The Hamptons Diet.)
According to the authors, the discovery that sugar represents a greater danger to the heart than salt, was an “eye opener.”
Maybe for them. But I’ve been warning my patients—and you—about the hidden hazards of sugar for ages. And I’ve also pointed out numerous times that salt isn’t the enemy.
Which is why I loved this quote from one of the study authors: “It is a little bit frightening that we have been focusing on salt for so long.” No kidding! Yet, they’re just now noticing that the ongoing recommendations to lower salt intake further and further have not resulted in the expected positive cardiovascular outcomes. (In fact, buying into the whole salt scam actually increases your heart attack risk by a whopping 360 percent!) [LHA heart report promo—Salt Scam]
What does that tell you? You’re barking up the wrong tree, is what it tells you.
Here’s what else it tells you: Don’t listen to the dietary advice warning you to banish your saltshaker forever. Go ahead and put a little salt on your grilled steak or salmon, and, while you’re at it, add a pat of salted organic butter to your veggies.
You can eat full-fat foods in abundance, and you don’t have to throw out your saltshaker and replace it with some disgusting substitute to keep your blood pressure in check. All you have to do is keep the sugar out.
“Sugar, Not Salt, May Be at Fault for Hypertension.” Medscape Medical News, 12/11/14
“The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease,”Open Heart. 2014;1;e000167.