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Dietary Changes and the New High Blood Pressure Guidelines

There is a new set of treatment guidelines — the first since 1993 — that has been released identifying more people with hypertension. According to the American Heart Association an upper number of 130 or a lower number of 80 raises a red flag, especially in the African-American community.

This change adds millions more to the numbers of Americans who will require treatment for high blood pressure. Rather than immediately reaching for a prescription pad, however, medical professionals should address lifestyle changes with their patients first. Recommendations should include:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • Healthy diet

By the last, I am not referring to a low-fat plan, but a sugar-free, low-carbohydrate diet instead. One pathway to high blood pressure is high insulin levels, which occur in people who consume too many sugars and starches.

Among the side effects of having high insulin levels are sodium retention, water retention, and high blood pressure. One of the most important strategies for managing blood pressure is weight loss. High blood pressure is associated with increasing body fat, especially belly fat. This can be addressed by weight loss — especially with a low-carbohydrate diet — and, as an added bonus, people can decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Why is controlling blood pressure of such vital importance? Over time, hypertension increases the risks for a number of health conditions, including:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Congestive heart failure
  • End-stage renal disease (in severe cases)

If people begin treating the warning signs of early high blood pressure now with lifestyle changes — especially dietary ones — they can help themselves avoid a future filled with prescription medications.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Good START! Next highlight grass fed meat, good fats, organic food, etc.

    Reply

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Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice or treatment. Follow the guidance of a physician before embarking on any diabetes-management or weight-loss program, especially if you are on dialysis, pregnant, nursing or under the age of 18. If you are taking medications, changing your diet under the HEALcare® program may require a change in their dosages. Follow your doctor’s orders on all medications, especially if you are taking diuretics or medication for blood pressure or diabetes. Individual results may vary. The testimonials referenced in this website are not promises or guarantees that you will achieve similar results.

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