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Speaking Event & Book Signing
In honor of Dr Masley’s new paperback release, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, he will be speaking on how to prevent and reverse heart disease, along with a book signing.
When & Where?
– Tuesday April 21st, 2015 6:30-7:30 pm
Carillon Wellness Center
900 Carillon Parkway, St Petersburg, FL 33716
– Wednesday April 22nd, 2015 6:30-7:30 pm
Cheek Powel Heart & Vascular Pavilion
455 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, FL 33756 Room A & B.
Seating is limited for both events please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please indicate which date and number of attendees.
For years we have asked people to lower their salt intake, in particular people with high blood pressure. Do we really need for everyone to limit their salt, or will only a select few benefit? And what is more important, limiting sugar or salt in our diets? If you’d like to see the answer to these questions, and other tips for better blood pressure control, read on.
For most people with high blood pressure, decreasing salt intake from a typical American sodium intake of 3,800 mg per day to 2,500 mg per day lowers the top blood pressure reading (systolic) about 5 mm of Hg points, and the lower blood pressure reading (diastolic) 2.5. Yet for the average American, the typical benefit from cutting your salt intake is only a 2 point reduction.
On the other hand, new research suggests that sugar has a bigger impact on blood pressure than salt. The challenge in making this distinction is that most processed foods are often loaded with both.
A study published in Open Heart by Drs. DiNicolantonio and Lucan explores which white crystal (sugar or salt) has the biggest impact on blood pressure levels. (DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC. Open Heart 2014;1:3000167)
Their findings show that:
- Eating more sugar increases systolic blood pressure 6.9 mm Hg points and diastolic blood pressure 5.6 mm Hg in the short term, and 7.6/6.1 mm Hg if followed for more than 8 weeks.
- Drinking one 24-ounce soft drink can increase blood pressure by 15 systolic and 9 diastolic points and raise heart rate by 9 beats per minute.
- People who consume 25% more calories from sugar (which is easy to do) have a 300% increase in death rate due to cardiovascular disease.
- A high-fructose (sugar) diet for just 2 weeks increases blood pressure 7 mm Hg systolic and 5 diastolic, but also raises pulse rate, triglycerides, fasting insulin and is associated with fatty liver.
- The good news is there is no harm noted from eating more fruit, so don’t fret over having an apple, a peach, or a cup of berries. Do avoid fruit juice and dried fruit.
For the last 100,000 years, humans consumed not more than a few pounds of sugar per year, in the form of hard-earned honey, maple syrup, or sugar cane. It is only in the last few years that our intake has leaped to 100 to 150 pounds per year. Today, one in six people get 25% of all their calories from sugar, which is way too much! No wonder rates for diabetes and metabolic syndrome are skyrocketing at epidemic rates.
I think the data is crystal clear—we should spend more energy avoiding sugar. Sugar doesn’t just raise blood pressure levels. Eating more sugar and refined carbs (any grain processed into flour) will also:
- Worsen your cholesterol profile (makes your LDL and HDL sizes smaller) and lowers overall healthy HDL levels.
- Increase your risk for
- Heart disease and strokes
- Weight gain
- Memory loss
So we should be limiting our sugar intake to what I’d call an occasional treat, clearly not every day. When it is a special occasion, enjoy it.
Who needs to limit salt intake?
Genetic testing shows that one third of people are very sensitive to salt, one third mildly sensitive, and one third are hardly impacted by salt at all. People with hypertension can have genetic testing performed to clarify their sodium response.
Generally speaking, salt intake has a much more adverse impact on health and blood pressure if you have elevated blood sugar levels. That means people with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) and diabetes should be more cautious of their salt intake. And for people who have congestive heart failure, limiting salt intake can make the difference from staying home or being hospitalized, as extra sodium can cause fluid overload that a weak heart can’t tolerate. Salt intake also has a modest impact on bone density as eating more salt causes you to pass calcium out of the kidneys into the urine. So there are some people who should be limiting their salt intake, but I am not convinced that healthy people with normal blood pressure (less than 120/80) and normal bone density need to spend much time worrying about it.
How else can you improve blood pressure control if you don’t cut down on salt?
Here are some easy steps in addition to cutting down on sugar and salt to improve your blood pressure levels:
- Eat five cups of vegetables and fruits daily
- Exercise for 30 minutes daily
- If you are overweight, lose 10 pounds
- Add 15-20 minutes of meditation or deep prayer time daily
The bottom line is that we should all be eating more clean protein, more healthy fat, and more fiber from vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits. We should use more herbs and spices to make our food taste delicious, and by adding more herbs and spices you won’t need to use as much sugar and salt.
I wish you the best of health!
Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS
Thanks great infeo
Thank you so much!
Enjoy your interview on Your Health with Dr. Richard and Cindy Becker.
I have your book.
Been blessed by you ☺️
Even though my blood pressure is high with medication, I eat a lot of sweet things before bed time . I wake up in the morning feeling weak with a headache and my pause beating fast . Should I stop with the sweet things
Eating too much sugar and refined carbs is the #1 cause for high blood pressure and heart disease. Give up the sugar and follow up with your own physician about the headaches and fast beating pulse in the morning.
Steven Masley, MD
Try a gluten free diet. The article mention how bad refined grain into flour can be, so if your doing as all you can with sugar and salt there is also that.
It’s very kind of you to enlighten people at large.
Thanku so much for this Information
Good advice to follow to help reduce blood pressure
My age is just 23 year and I am suffering from high BP with 145/90.i want it fully cure naturally .plz suggest me
Please try the steps outlined in this blog, and read my book, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up. You should also be asking your doctor to clarify the cause. Is there a kidney or hormonal problem that has not been addressed, and if they only suggest drug therapy, then get a second opinion from a functional medicine medical provider. I agree that it isn’t normal for a 23 year old to have hypertension.
Steven Masley, MD
Can we manage stress induced hypertension with 30 min of brisk walking?
That is one important treatment plan, but it will work better when combined with eating the right foods, meeting your nutrient needs, and adding meditation to manage your stress. Combined, they are much more effective than any single step by itself.
Steven Masley, MD
Does sugar raise your pulse rate ?
Not directly, although eating too much sugar will hurt your heart long term.
Steven Masley, MD
Thank you for this informative report. I am sure it is much needed by millions in todays fast paced society who eat on the run and gobble down loads of processed foods, filled with salt and sugar. I for one will be cutting down the amount of salt and sugar consumption in my diet. I recently found out that I have hypertension and don’t want to take prescription drugs with record breaking side effects, so I am seeking prevention measures. Thanks again for this report, I will share your site with others.
I’m a 65 yr old female with unstable H B P. On metoprolol also for heart palpatations tart 50 mg 2 x daily. Dilt xr 240 mg 1x daily morning. Now he also put me on Nifedipine which causes me head aches and hot flushed face.I stopped taking Nifedipine. I am so confused as to what to do or take do to no real explanation by this cardiologist of what is going on. When asked he will say. Just try this. One reading in a day will be 165/100 due to his readings, and some what of mine at home. But then it will drop to 120/73 or at times 114/65. Please help.
The closer you follow my 30-Day Heart Tune-Up plan, the less medications you should need. I know how confusing it can be to placed on multiple medications. The combination of eating the right foods, avoiding bad choices, being active, and meeting your nutrient needs often has a powerful impact on blood pressure control. Give it a try!
Steven Masley, MD