Heart Health and Diet

I feel like I’ve been giving food a bad rep in my last two posts, and that is the LAST thing I want to do. Instead – let’s look at how proper dietary changes can impact HYPERTENSION. ❤️.
Primary hypertension has no clear cause but is associated with genetics, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, aging, and obesity. An optimal blood pressure is 115/75 – this can differ however depending on your age and health status. Have you had your BP taken recently? Often people have no idea what their BP is, since unless it is too high OR too low, there are minimal symptoms. What dietary changes are there to help keep BP optimal? .
A few different diets have been shown to have impact on reducing blood pressure. These include the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), a vegetarian diet, and the Mediterranean diet. The DASH diet focuses on low-sodium, low-fat, and high potassium foods. A vegetarian diet limits animal products and focuses on plant-sourced protein, such as beans, nuts, and soy. The Mediterranean diet limits red meat and focuses on legumes, red wine, and healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and fish. (These are VERY vague descriptions of these diets). A recent meta-analysis on randomized control trials done in the past 25 years found that both the vegetarian and DASH diet significantly decreased systolic and diastolic BP. The Mediterranean diet significantly decreased diastolic BP, while also lowering the amount of cardiovascular events and deaths. (The main goal!).

These diets are all similar in certain ways: focusing on plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and limiting red meats. They are higher in vegetables and fruit, and lower in processed foods. Some of the participants in these studies also lost weight while on the diet, which may attribute to some of the findings. As well, participant adherence to the diets greatly affected the results, as with any dietary or lifestyle change. .

Consider making just one small change to better your health! 🍌🍎🥑🍤🍷