Researchers evaluated information presented by nearly 2700 adults in the US and UK and feel as though they found significant evidence linking the consumption of sweetened drinks and high blood pressure. Representatives from the American Beverage Association don’t seem to be in full agreement with the conclusions drawn by researchers, but the study does offer some very interesting information.
Participants submitted detailed questionnaires containing information of the foods that they ate over the course of four days and had their blood pressures recorded eight times during the four day period. Study participants also provided researchers with information regarding their medical history and lifestyle.
Based on the information gathered researchers were able to determine that each addition soft drink consumed increased systolic blood pressure by more than a point and a half and diastolic by one point. Researchers also noted that participants who reported drinking the most sugar sweetened beverages also had the highest overall blood pressures.
While this study may not provide a conclusive connection between soft drinks and high blood pressure, it should push health care providers to warn patients about consuming unnecessary additional sugar. Even if the sugar in soft drinks isn’t directly responsible for increases in BP, the additional empty calories can be a contributing factor in obesity which can ultimately increase the risk of heart disease.
Limiting your intake of sugar and salt can result in many health benefits. Consult your health care provider for some easily implementable suggestions to cut excess sugar and salt from your diet.