There’s a lot of focus on salt being the evil amongst food flavorings, especially as it is considered one of the biggest culprits behind an unhealthy heart and high blood pressure. However, the question about which the real evil is between sugar and salt has sparked debate.
In excess though, both are bad for your health. But science disapproves the belief that salt is worse. In truth, sugar is actually the bigger problem because it can magnify the harmful effects of salt (sodium).
Time to Cut Your Sugar Intake
The researchers from St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, along with health experts from Montefiore Medical Center compiled evidence and reviewed them to understand which between sugar and salt is the real enemy of being healthy.
From basic experiments to animal studies to human research, the experts assessed the effects of both sugar and salt and they concluded with the following points:
- Based on the negative effects of different types of sugar in the body, they discovered that fructose is the worst when it comes to our health.
- Fructose has a huge effect on both cardiac diseases and high blood pressure (hypertension).
- The researchers discovered that fructose plays a much stronger role in the development of heart diseases and hypertension contrary to the belief that salt is the main culprit.
- Lowering your salt intake may actually do more harm than good, based on the findings of the research.
This is quite shocking because it is for many years, health experts have been telling us to cut down on salt consumption. The reason behind why reducing salt intake (under certain levels) can be bad is that doing so may drive people to crave for more food – especially if salt comes from processed food.
How to Decrease Your Sugar Intake
The most important thing to reduce is added sugar, which you can find in sweetened beverage where the main sweetener is sugar. These include sodas, which have high amounts of added sugar. Other sources of added sugar include the following and you should at least minimize your consumption:
Fruits and vegetables also contain sugar, particularly fructose, but the US experts believe that naturally occurring sugars aren’t much of a concern. Sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to the activation of sympathetic nervous system, which then accelerates your heart rate, raises blood pressure, and constricts your blood vessels.
While reducing sugar is the focus of the research, other experts still believe everyone should still cut down salt consumption. To be on the safe side, don’t go over the recommended daily allowance for salt and sugar which are 1.6g and 25g respectively.