Adverse Effects of High Blood Pressure 

 Hypertension strongly raises the probability of developing dementia as well as the increasing likelihood of strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.

Within one to four hours of consuming a high-fat McDonald's meal (Egg McMuffin®, Sausage McMuffin®, two hash brown patties, non-caffeinated beverage) your arteries will stiffen which raises your blood pressure.

The best thing you can do to decrease your blood pressure is to go on a low-fatplant-based diet and begin to do moderate exercise.  If you are currently taking blood-pressure medication, you will want to be monitored by your physician as you begin to lower your blood pressure through diet in case he/she needs to change your dosage.

One recent study showed improved blood pressure by adding 30 grams (1 ounce) of ground flaxseed per day.

If the truly normal blood pressure of 110/70 were the goal of all health care, the hardening of the arteries that occurs with age may not even take place, and certainly most heart attacks and strokes would almost never occur.  Most people who live to be 100 have such low-risk blood pressure readings.

To lower your blood pressure naturally or to keep it at the excellent level, Dr. John McDougall, author of The Starch Solution, recommends that you eat a low-fatlow-salt, plant-based diet.  Exercise daily.  Stop any blood pressure drugs as soon as your doctor allows.  Pay attention to all controllable health risk factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides, weight, and such personal habits as smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption.

In a study conducted by Dr. John McDougall and his colleagues, a program utilizing a moderately low-sodium, vegan diet with moderate exercise resulted in an average blood pressure reduction of 17/13 in just eleven days! 

It is notable that relaxation and meditation, though useful for many purposes, have not been found to impact high blood pressure. Many people find this surprising, possibly since high blood pressure also is known as “hypertension.” Because of this potentially misleading term, many people have assumed that high levels of stress or “tension” is a major cause of “hypertension,” or high blood pressure. This is not the case. High blood pressure is an essentially mechanical, and not psychological, problem. 

To find out your blood pressure you will need to check with your physician.  Alternatives include a visit to your pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens) where you can use their FREE blood pressure cuff.  Sit quietly for a minute and then do the test.  Repeat the test 3 times with a rest in between.  Write down each reading.  When finished, add the top numbers of your three scores and divide by 3.  Do the same with the bottom numbers. This should give you a good average of your blood pressure.

If you want to learn more, read the article Telling the Truth about High Blood Pressure.

In a recent article on Medscape Medical News, Lara Pullen, PhD, writes that 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. In particular, a new review article suggests that sugar, not salt, appears to contribute to the majority of the hypertension risk associated with processed food.

 For a FREE chart that you can print off and fill in with your test results, click here

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