Sugar, not salt contributes to the majority of the hypertension risk associated with processed food and a reduction in the consumption of added sugars and, in particular, processed foods may translate into decreased rates of hypertension as well as decreased cardiometabolic disease.

James J. DiNicolantanio, PharmD, from Saint Lukes Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, published their review of epidemiological and experimental studies in the journal Open Heart. They concluded that high-sugar diets may make a significant contribution to cardiometabolic risk.

Highly refined processed foods should be replaced by natural whole foods.