You could be increasing your risk of high blood pressure as much as 87 percent if you consume too many sodas, candies, and other highly sweetened foods.
A new study pinpointing that result implies that cutting back on processed foods and beverages with high-fructose corn syrup may help prevent high blood pressure.
The rising amount of fructose in diets during the past 200 years parallels the increasing rate of obesity, and the number of obese Americans has risen abruptly since the use of high fructose corn syrup became widespread, according to the researchers at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center.
Americans consume 30 percent more fructose now than just 20 years ago, and as much as four times the amount of 100 years ago when the obesity rate was less than 5 percent. Although obesity has long been linked with the risk of high blood pressure, no conclusive studies directly linked fructose to hypertension.
The new study examined 4,528 adults with no history of hypertension. The amount of fructose in their diets was calculated based on a questionnaire that included foods such as soft drinks, candy, bakery products, and fruit juices. The team found that those who ate or drank more than the amount of fructose in two and a half sugary drinks each day increased their risk up to 87 percent.
“These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with high blood pressure levels in the US adult population with no history of hypertension,” said the authors.