It’s common knowledge that diets rich in sodium raise blood pressure, but a new study has found that diets rich in fructose and other sugars also put blood pressure on the rise. Fructose is found naturally in table sugar and in high-fructose corn syrup – a corn based product used to sweeten processed juices, sodas and foods.
High fructose corn syrup is more commonly used than you may realize and can be in foods you didn’t even expect, such as fruits and vegetables. Although this could be a rare occurrence, high fructose corn syrup has crept into processed fruits, vegetables, baked beans and even pickles.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is measured by the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels and arteries and then back up to the heart. If this pressure is too high for a prolonged period of time, a person can be considered to have high blood pressure – a condition that is extremely detrimental to the heart and vital organs over time.
In the United States alone, currently 67 million adults – 1 in 3 Americans – are living with high blood pressure. Plus, 30 percent of American adults are well on their way to being diagnosed with high blood pressure and may have pre-hypertension, which is a condition that puts them at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure in the future.
Common Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Widely known as the Silent Killer, the most common and identifying symptom of high blood pressure stands out. But there is a silver lining! There are subtle signs and symptoms that you can look out for and discuss with your doctor if you think you’re at risk. These include, but aren’t restricted to:
- Profuse sweating
- Blurred vision
- Ringing of the ears
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult your doctor to know your diagnosis for high blood pressure.
How Does Fructose Raise Blood Pressure?
Fructose raises blood pressure just like sodium; it causes weight gain unless burned off through exercise, and hardens the arteries, making it harder for blood to push through. When adding foods to your diet try foods without the added high-fructose corn syrup and avoid soft drinks, candy and bakery goods. High fructose diets have been found to reduce nitric oxide production within the blood vessels, an element that actually helps relax blood vessels and is supposed to lower blood pressure.
Top 5 High Fructose Foods to Avoid:
- Soft Drinks
- Sauces and salad dressings
- Breakfast cereals and bars
- Processed snacks
Even though 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, there are steps you can take to not be added to or even to be subtracted from that list!
Eat Healthy. Always maintain a healthy diet rich in whole grains and vegetables – while grocery shopping, take a good look at all the ingredient labels to get more informed about how high fructose corn syrup is commonly used these days and make comparisons of local or organic products.
Stay Active. Stick to a workout routine that best fits your lifestyle, that’s easy on your body and easy to maintain on a regular basis.
Talk to Your Doctor. Visit your doctor on a regular basis. While on doctor’s visits, be sure to be honest with your doctor because doing so will help you and the doctor better understand your heart health and your doctor can help you plan the best form of attack for your high blood pressure.
Implementing these tips and tricks into your everyday life will not only help your blood pressure, but your overall health, so start today!