We've been hearing for years that too much salt is bad for your heart health. Now a new study has discovered that eating too much sugar can also wreak havoc on your blood pressure.
Diets high in fructose, the study finds, increases people's risk of hypertension. That means drinking a lot of soda, which contains a large amount of high-fructose corn syrup, can be very dangerous for your health, no matter what you weigh.
Health.com reports that the study, which appears in theÂ Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, says a person's risk of hypertension increases by at least 30% if they drink 2.5 cans or more of non-diet soda per day. Consuming the equivalent amount of fructose in other foods will have the same affect.
That means that over-consuming foods like fruit punch, candy, cookies and chocolate, and other foods with added sugars can have just as much of a damaging impact on your health as too much sodium can have.
It's true that fructose occurs naturally in fruits as well, but the study excluded fruits because they contain other nutrients that are important for the body.
This new information is really important. Too often people assume that just limiting calories, or exercising to offset calorie consumption will ensure that they're healthy. But this study found that diets high in fructose leave a person at risk for high blood pressure despite other factors like calorie consumption.
That means that if you only eat 1700 calories a day, but many of your calories are from fructose (or sodium), you are still more likely to develop heart problems, no matter how thin you are.
It's essential for us to keep in mind that being fit and thin is about your health - it's not about a number on the scale or a pants size. No matter what you weigh, you're at risk for developing serious illnesses if you eat poorly and don't consider nutrition when choosing what to eat.
When trying to lose weight, be sure to keep all factors of your diet in mind, not just calories.
And if you're craving fructose, choose fruit or dark chocolate, both which contain fructose, but also satisfy your craving for something sweet more efficiently than ice cream or cake will. Your heart will thank you.