Salt may not be the culprit; blame sugar

A fact, established ages ago, causes a hype that leads to people shunning salt like the plague.

Everything’s sodium proof, because it’s bad for health. Right? Well…

This particular finding is proving to be a bit controversial.

According to the latest study published in the Open Heart journal, the salt may not actually be the

culprit where diseases of the heart and blood are concerned. How was this particular fact established?

Well, the research team focused not on the amount of salt the volunteers ingested but the amount of

added sugars they had in their everyday lives.

James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Missouri and

Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, of Montefiore Medical Center led the study and argued that the current

guidelines may be misguiding where the intake of salts may be concerned and therefore the fact that

low salt intake reduces hypertension may be a myth. They claim that this particular fact was based on

assumption not evidence.

“Added sugars probably matter more than dietary sodium for hypertension, and fructose in particular

may uniquely increase cardiovascular risk by inciting metabolic dysfunction and increasing blood

pressure variability, myocardial oxygen demand, heart rate, and inflammation,” said the authors.

Fructose is a sugar found naturally and in abundance in fruits and vegetables and most of the processed

foods. Processed foods in particular have been linked with liver diseases, obesity and diabetes. A study

suggested that ingestion of high levels of saturated food proved to be less lethal than ingestion of


“A couple of hundred years ago hypertension basically didn’t even exist, and as soon as sugar

consumption started to increase so did hypertension, gout, obesity and diabetes,” said DiNicolantonio.

He believes that it is time to focus on the other white crystal than the one we are so fixated over.

There are many professionals who aren’t too happy with this work; the American Heart Association is

definitely not. They hold their ground about sticking to a low sodium diet. Others believe that ingestion

of both in moderate qualities may be the best option out there. We know it is, but it’s better to wait for

the verdict.


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