RFF#112 – Sugar may increase kids’ future risk of heart disease

While we’ve traditionally viewed sugar as a risk factor for obesity and cavities, new research suggests that even in children, added sugars (sugars that are not naturally occurring in a food) are associated with increased blood pressure and increased triglycerides.

Thus, eating sugar can increase kids’ future risk for heart disease!

I learned about this fact from: Kell et al, 2014. Added sugars in the diet are positively associated with diastolic blood pressure and triglycerides in children. American Journal of Clincal Nutrition, 100(1):46-52. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/100/1/46.abstract

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RFF#37 – Some people are salt resistant, therefore unlike most people, salt doesn’t raise their blood pressure

Those of you who know me might be shocked to hear me say this. But it is indeed a fact. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that those are who “salt resistant” don’t have to worry about their salt consumption. For starters, the adverse effects of salt go beyond its ability to raise blood pressure. There is some evidence to suggest that salt intake increases risk for gastric cancer, and salt is even an indirect contributor to obesity (because it makes you thirsty, and if you’re satisfying your thirst with caloric beverages, this could be a problem).

Furthermore, most salty food is processed, so even if you’re salt resistant, the other adverse effects of those foods will probably get you in some other way. Not to mention, salt makes food hyper-palatable (translation: super tasty), and more salt means more cravings. So whether you’re salt resistant or not, the take home message is still the same, excessive sodium consumption is bad, and it’s something we all need to work on.

I learned about this fact from: Strom et al. Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence. Institute of Medicine, 2013.