FOOD & DRINK

Sugary Drinks Increases Risk of High BP

Cutting back on soda for good health

According to a recent study, drinking lesser sweetened drinks help in reducing blood pressure. Cutting back on the sweet beverages and the sugary sodas can aid in lowering the blood pressure. Earlier studies have related the sugary beverages to type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors which increase the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. However, the latest study is the first one to show that drinking a lot of sweetened beverages can lead to increase in the levels of blood pressure. High blood pressure is said to be a huge risk for heart stroke and other heart diseases.

The studies have revealed that the people who drink sugary drinks are about 26-70% at risk of developing high BP than the people who don’t drink them. The studies also show that teens who drink 3 or more sugary drinks in a day are 87% more likely to develop high BP.

The drinks which include lemonade, fruit punch, and many energy and sports drinks are the primary source of additional sugar in the diets of Americans. The sugary drinks add calories but do not fill you up. The people who drink these may not compensate for those additional calories by eating lesser food which leads to gain in weight, which can result in raising the blood pressure. Also, the people who drink sugar sweetened drinks also tend to eat lesser healthy foods and do less exercise- which is another possible explanation of the results.

The stroke risk

It is widely known that in case you have too much of salt in your diet, you are more likely of developing high BP. High BP is a major risk for cardio-vascular disease. Someone with a BP level of 135 mm Hg over 85 mm Hg is twice as likely to have a stroke or a heart attack as someone with a reading of 115 mm Hg over 75 mm Hg.

Nevertheless, the findings suggest that the people should consider cutting back on the sugary drinks and not only salt for improving their heart health. 100 % fruit juices and water are good substitutes for sugary drinks, although even the 100% juice contains sugar and a high calorie count. It should be limited to just 1 serving in a day. Modernization in all the things is the bottom line here. There is a whole list of the choices to make which can all make the small difference. However, an answer to high BP or to cardio-vascular risk is not going to be one particular thing.

Diet soda?

The new study seems to maintain and help the previous research which shows that cutting back even only a serving of the soda a day can help on lowering the BP for the people who are most at risk. Yet, the wider health questions raised have resulted to the efforts of getting soda out of schools and many states to consider tax on soda. However, do not sit there carelessly thinking that the diet soda is going to be of any help. Even though the UK study showed that the drinkers of the diet soda did not seem to have the same high BP problems experience by their sugared up counterparts, they still had high BMI. They also had lower physical activity levels. Along with that, some other studies suggest that diet soda is apparently bad for the kidneys.

Conclusion

Given the wide-spread and increasing use of the artificial sweeteners and the present epidemic of obesity and linked diseases, more research is required for determining the long-term benefits and risks of these products. Restrictions on the consumption of sugar- sweetened beverages should be incorporated in the recommendations of the lifestyle changes for the treatment of hypertension and high BP.

 

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