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Is Sugar the New Salt?

Dec 17, 2014 02:00PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds

Once upon a time, the dietary bogeyman for cardiologists was salt. Pickles, cold cuts, pizza and such were immediately struck from the menus of every heart patient. A new culprit, however, may be usurping old man sodium. Meet that foodie fem fatale, sugar.

According to the online journal Open Heart, added sugar in processed goods are likely to have a greater role in high blood pressure and heart disease and stroke than added salt. Dietary guidelines, the journal suggested, should emphasize the role played by added sugars in the fight to curb the prevalence of cardiovascular risk.

“Worldwide, sugar sweetened beverage consumption has been implicated in 180,000 deaths a year,” the report stated. The report also contends that U.S. consumers average 77-152 pounds of sugar a year of year. That’s the equivalent of 24-74 teaspoons a day. And just as most dietary sodium does not come from the salt shaker, most dietary sugar does not come from the sugar bowl. Processed food is the enemy here, whether it’s salty or sweet.

--Sarah Hagerty
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