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  • "How to Treat High Blood Pressure with Diet"

  • High blood pressure ranks as the #1 risk factor

  • for death and disability in the world.

  • Previously, I showed how a plant-based diet

  • may prevent high blood pressure, but what if you already have it?

  • The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology,

  • and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • recommend as the first-line treatment: lifestyle modification.

  • If that doesn't work you start the patient

  • on a thiazide diuretic, water pill,

  • and then you keep piling on the meds until you get their blood pressure down.

  • Commonly people will end up on three drugs,

  • though researchers are experimenting with four at a time,

  • and some people end up on five. Why not jump straight to the drugs?

  • Well, they don't treat the underlying cause, and they can cause side-effects.

  • Less than half of patients stick with even the first-line drugs,

  • perhaps due to the adverse effects

  • such as erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and muscle cramps.

  • So what are these recommended lifestyle changes?

  • They recommend to control one's weight, salt, and alcohol intake,

  • engage in regular exercise, and adopt a DASH eating plan.

  • The DASH diet has been described as a lactovegetarian diet, but it's not.

  • It emphasizes fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy,

  • but just a reduction in meat. Why not vegetarian?

  • We've known for decades that food of animal origin

  • was highly significantly associated with blood pressure.

  • In fact, if you take vegetarians,

  • And you give them meat, you can watch their blood pressures go right up.

  • I've talked about how there are benefits to getting blood pressure

  • down as low as 110 over 70, but who can get that low?

  • Populations eating plant-based diets.

  • Like in rural China, about 110 over 70 their whole lives,

  • with meat only eaten on special occasions. Or rural Africa,

  • where the elderly have perfect blood pressure as opposed to hypertension.

  • In the Western world, as the American Heart Association has pointed out,

  • the only folks really getting down that low were the strict vegetarians,

  • coming out about 110 over 65.

  • So when they created the DASH diet were they just not aware

  • of this landmark research, done by Harvard's Frank Sacks?

  • No, they were aware. The Chair of the Design Committee that came up

  • with the DASH diet was Dr. Sacks.

  • In fact the DASH diet was explicitly designed

  • with the #1 goal of capturing the blood pressure lowering

  • benefits of a vegetarian diet,

  • yet contain enough animal products to make it palatable to the general public.

  • In fact, Sacks found that the more dairy the lactovegetarians ate,

  • the higher their blood pressures, but they had to make the diet acceptable.

  • Research has since shown that it's the added plant foods,

  • not the changes in oil, sweets, or dairy, that appears to be the critical component,

  • so why not eat plant-based?

  • A recent meta-analysis showed vegetarian diets were good,

  • but strictly plant-based diets may be better.

  • Vegetarian diets in general confer protection against

  • cardiovascular diseases, some cancers and death,

  • but completely plant-based diets seem to offer additional protection for obesity,

  • hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease mortality.

  • Based on a study of 89,000 people, those eating meat-free diets

  • appeared to cut their risk of high blood pressure 55%,

  • but those eating meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free had 75% lower risk.

  • If, however, you're already eating a whole food plant-based diet,

  • no processed foods, no table salt, and you're still not hitting 110 over 70,

  • there are a few foods recently found to offer additional protection.

  • Ground flaxseeds, a few tablespoons a day,

  • induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects

  • ever achieved by a dietary intervention, 2 to 3 times more powerful

  • than instituting an aerobic endurance exercise program.

  • Watermelon also appears to have extraordinary effects

  • but you'd have to eat like 2 pounds a day.

  • Sounds like my kind of medicine, but it's hard to get year-round.

  • Red wine may help, but only if the alcohol has been taken out.

  • Raw vegetables or cooked?

  • And the answer is both, though raw may work better.

  • Beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils may help a little.

  • Kiwifruits though don't seem to work at all,

  • even though the study was funded by a kiwifruit company.

  • Maybe they should have taken direction

  • from the California Raisin Marketing Board

  • who came out with this study showing raisins can reduce blood pressure,

  • but only, apparently, compared to fudge cookies, Cheez-its, and Chips Ahoy!

"How to Treat High Blood Pressure with Diet"

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B1 US blood pressure diet blood pressure plant based high blood

Flashback Friday: How to Treat High Blood Pressure with Diet

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    happy posted on 2022/11/15
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