Sugar and sweeteners are also recent additions to the human diet.
There's not a lot of evidence that sugar directly affects the blood pressure, but it certainly can have an enormously adverse effect on psychological well-being—and thus on stress.
There was even a murder case years ago in which the defense attorneys and their expert witnesses convinced a jury that the murderer of the mayor of San Francisco and a county supervisor
was not responsible for his cold-blooded crime—because he was acting under the influence of s ugary junk foods. The press whimsically called it "the Twinkie defense."So there is evidence that sugar consumption can be harmful and can even cause bizarre and inappropriate behavior in some people. It is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. I certainly advise all my patients to begin to restrict their sugar intake. But in treating high blood pressure, sugar isn't nearly as dramatic an issue as salt. It's just something you'd probably feel better with less of.
Author: Cleaves M. Bennett MD FACP
Our bodies are designed to function best on a low-sodium, high-potassium diet (this is the pattern of mineral content in natural, unrefined foods). But while we're processing foods we not only add a lot of sodium, we also leach out potassium. So the typical diet of Americans and other industrialized societies—most of whose food is grown, stored, processed, and even cooked by others—tends to leave us short of potassium. Read More