Avoiding sugar-laden food and drinks can help lower blood pressure, and prevent kidney and heart disease, according to Michael Chonchol of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. His study on the subject is in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"People who took in 74 grams (2.6 ounces) of fructose a day or more -- about 2.5 sugary drinks -- had a 28 percent increased risk of blood pressure of 135/85 or higher. They had a 77 percent higher risk of extreme high blood pressure of 160/100 or more, Chonchol said."
Fructose, one form of sweetener, can raise uric acid levels. This can make blood vessels contract, which increases blood pressure. Sucrose, which is found in table sugar, doesn't have this same effect.
The American Heart Association says that too much sugar intake can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and stroke. President Barack Obama advocates making policy changes in the fight against childhood obesity.