Written by Ed Camp, a San Francisco Chiropractor.
It is a little-known fact that fructose can lead to high blood pressure. In fact, all grains and sugars can contribute to the problem, but fructose is a MAJOR factor.
A recent article, “J Am Soc Nephorlogy 2010 Sep;21(9):1543-9. Epub 2010 Jul 1.” Stated that people who consumed 74 grams of Fructose a day (About two and a half sugary drinks.) had a 77% higher risk of blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg. (Compared to 120/80 being normal.)
Sadly, the average American consumes seventy grams per day. OUCH! We are already at risk for higher blood pressure levels.
A contributing factor of the problem is that fructose breaks down into several other products that are deleterious to our health. These include Uric acid which is associated with gout AND can elevate blood pressure by inhibiting nitric oxide--which helps maintain blood vessel elasticity. One hundred percent of the studies done indicate decreased nitric oxide leads to hypertension.
The fact is, one can of soda exceeds the recommended amount of fructose one should consume a day. I know… water is boring but alas better for you by far. Try lemon or lime in your water--it works, believe me.
There are so many sources of hidden fructose such as prepared foods, drinks, fruits, and grains.
Other dietary tricks to help normalize blood pressure:
Add Omega-3 to your diet. Americans seem to get enough Omega-6 fats but not enough Omega-3. There is a proper ratio and most of us are WAY off the scale.
The relationship between caffeine and high blood pressure while not fully understood, is well documented. If you have hypertension just do your best to avoid caffeine. Don’t quit coffee in a day or you will actually suffer withdrawal symptoms like headaches. Taper off the consumption over a period of days to avoid this side effect.
Lastly… no one wants to hear this…. EXERCISE is a powerful tool in our box to fight more than a few diseases, high blood pressure being among those responsive to it.
When starting an exercise program, don’t try to build Rome in a day. Ramp up slowly. The old school comment used to be three times a week for thirty minutes. The new school is an hour five days a week. This can be a simple thing like walking after dinner. By simply getting started, you'll be on your way to gaining health benefits far beyond the potential reduction in blood pressure.
As always, thanks for reading. Try a few of these tips and you'll be on your way to lowering your blood pressure and improving your health.
Dr. Camp can be reached in his San Francisco Chiropractic office at 415-922-2225.