Lowering blood pressure naturally is certainly preferable to taking medication.
Statins are often prescribed to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you take Lipitor, Zocor, or Crestor, you are taking a statin drug. This type of medication is one of the most widely prescribed drugs of all time.
Of course, no medication works without side effects. Some of the possible aftereffects of taking statins include muscle pain and weakness, liver damage, increases in blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes, as well as confusion and memory loss.
Studies Show That Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally is Possible
New Guidelines from the American Heart Association for lowering blood pressure naturally recommend replacing foods high in saturated fats with foods that have unsaturated fats.
This guideline is based on research that shows that eating a healthier diet can reduce a person’s chance of developing heart disease as much as taking medications like statins.
This means replacing steak and butter, which are high in saturated fat, with foods that have unsaturated fat like nuts, avocados and olive oil. It also means staying away from high fat desserts and packaged food products.
The new guidance from the heart association is not a big change in direction. Instead, the AHA wanted to take a fresh look at the evidence in light of some newer, less scientific studies and dietary fads that officials feared were confusing the public.
It’s long been known that consuming less saturated fat lowers people’s LDL, or so-called bad cholesterol, which clogs arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes. But the heart association finds that this is only the case when saturated fat is replaced with unsaturated fat and not refined carbohydrates that contain sugar but no fiber. Both unsaturated fat and fiber have been found to help lower cholesterol. The AHA research group says some newer studies didn’t consider these dietary replacements.
Advice from Physicians on Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally
While most physicians would agree that heart health depends on a good diet, some suggest there is a bit more wiggle room than the heart association advisory suggests. Other doctors and health care providers believe the advice doesn’t go far enough in explaining what foods can truly protect their patients from heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death.
Here is some sound advice from noteworthy physicians about lowering blood pressure naturally. While they all advocate lowering blood pressure naturally, each one has a unique take on how to do so:
Dr. Michael Miller, Director of the University of Maryland Medical Center for Preventive Cardiology
• He believes that the guidance should be useful to doctors in advising patients, but he’s not a stickler on eliminating all saturated fat. He advises moderation instead.
• That means a small, fist-size steak once in a while, two egg whites for every one yoke and even a bit of coconut oil, a culinary darling of late that is mostly saturated fat.
• “If you’re good most of the time, allow yourself one unhealthy breakfast, lunch and dinner a week. But don’t go nuts and eat a 24-ounce steak.”
• He also emphasizes making lifestyle changes such as adding regular exercise and reducing stress.
Dr. Dana Simpler, an Internal Medicine Doctor at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore
• Dr. Simpler believes that the consequences of a poor diet can are so dire that the heart association report was a missed opportunity to warn people about how much all their food matters.
• She joins other doctors who advocate a whole food, plant-based diet.
• According to Dr. Simpler, a plant based diet can reduce the chance of a first or second heart attack to close to zero.
• Her advice is to eat foods that are not processed and have little to no sugar, salt or added oil.
• “It continues to surprise me that the AHA makes such modest diet recommendations for preventing our number one killer — heart disease.
• “Simply substituting saturated fats (bacon, red meat, butter) with unsaturated fats (vegetable oils) reduces heart attacks by 30 percent, but, what about the other 70 percent that still have life threatening heart disease?”
• Yet she admits that that a plant-based diet is not easy to follow, “and many people may decide it is too hard for them.”
Dr. Seth Martin, Co-Director of the John Hopkins Hospital’s Advanced Lipid Disorders Center
• Dr. Martin would like all his patients to eat so well but “perfection” is tough to achieve.
• He encourages them to do what they can, from starting with one change or adopting the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet, which both center on low-fat, whole-grain and plant-based foods.
• He praises the new AHA recommendations: “I like the idea of replacing something with something. We’re always talking about don’t eat this and don’t eat that, but here they’re talking about what is healthy. Diets are complicated and confusing to people and it’s nice to have clear guidance on the topic.”
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