As if you needed any other reason to reduce sugar intake, a study found that the over-consumption of foods with fructose is linked to high blood pressure. Not surprisingly, giant groups who want you to eat more HFCS (the worst kind of sugar) have spoken out against this and other similar studies.
Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruit and vegetables, as well as many processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. What’s unnatural about it all is the sheer volume of fructose we find in foods in the form of HFCS and just how much of this sweet syrup Americans are taking in.
In the 1950s and 1960s, sucrose was the main source of sugar for Americans. Sucrose is the sweet substance in table sugar made from sugarcane or beets. But with the development of cheap HFCS, that changed dramatically.
This most recent study found that those participants who took in 74 grams of fructose (the equivalent of about 2.5 sweet drinks), were at a 28% greater risk of blood pressure levels 135/85 or higher and a 77% greater risk of extreme high blood pressure, with levels greater than 160/100.
Soon after the findings were published, the Corn Refiners Association spoke out saying that the researchers overestimated the amount of fructose in the drinks being studied. The researchers denied this.
The American Beverage Association also weighed in, saying the findings, “furthers the confusion and misunderstandings about high fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened beverages,” adding that no cause and effect relationship could be established through this particular research methodology.
The researchers agree, to a certain extent, and admit that further research is needed in order to say for certain that foods with fructose caused the high blood pressure and weren’t simply a contributor or linked.