Throw out the rule book: salt is not the enemy


Throw the rule books out: scientists have found that what you have been told about high blood pressure is wrong.

Sugar, not salt, is the cause for high blood pressure, a new study has confirmed. US researchers conducted a study of almost 9,000 adults and their findings were stark: there was no link between salt and high blood pressure.

One in three Australians over 30 suffer from hypertension – approximately 3.5 million of us – so these claims are important for our health. Our heart rate quickens and blood pressure rises when our sugar levels are high, as opposed to what our doctors have told us, i.e. that salt is the cause.

Dr James DiNicolantonio led the research, detailed in the American Journal of Cardiology, and said that “It is sugar not the salt that may be the actual causative factor for high blood pressure”. This research is further evidence of the health risks posed by eating too much sugar as when we do, we produce more insulin, which speeds up our heart rate. Dr DiNicolantonion contradicts what we have been told but is confident that “a reduction in salt intake may lead to an increased intake in processed foods (and added sugars) and, thereby, increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease”.

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For those of us who have been told we have to slash our salt intake and then have felt weak from removing this important mineral, this is welcome news. It’s critical that we do what we can to have blood pleasure control, as the higher it is, the higher risk over 60s are of heart failure and stroke. Stroke is our country’s second biggest killer (after coronary heart disease) and 1 in 6 will have one so it’s alarming to think that this link was not found more recently than now given the statistics. But now that we know, how can we change our diets so we can remain healthy? The average adult consumes 15 teaspoons of sugar a day, often times not knowing it.

I have a family friend who had high blood pressure and started to reduce their salt intake but this only made their hypertension higher and they couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t until they reduced their sugars as well that they really saw a reduction and this research really emphasises how important it is to have a healthy diet. Everything in moderation!

The best recommendation is to reduce your salt, but particularly your sugar and stick to unprocessed and nutritious foods without oil and added sugar.


What do you think of these findings? Have you reduced your salt intake only for your blood pressure to go up? Do you have high blood pressure? Will you change your sugar intake?