Finding yourself confused by the seemingly endless promotion of weight-loss strategies and diet plans? In this series, we take a look at some popular diets—and review the research behind them. Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that blood places against the walls of arteries. It will normally vary throughout the day but if it remains too high, this is called high blood pressure or hypertension. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. The authors surmised that eating a diet with many different foods with blood pressure-lowering nutrients would show a greater effect on blood pressure than eating single nutrients, such as found in supplements or in a limited diet. Three diets were tested: 1 a control diet, or a standard American diet, 2 a fruits and vegetables diet, similar to the control diet but providing more fruits and vegetables and less snacks and sweets, and 3 a combination diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-fat dairy foods with reduced amounts of saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. The last two diets were richer in nutrients associated with lower blood pressure, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein. All three diets provided about mg sodium, which is more than the recommended amount from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans but less than the average sodium intake for Americans. Despite no weight changes, the combination diet reduced blood pressure more than the other two diets.
NCBI Bookshelf. Hima J. Authors Hima J. Uppaluri 3. In the last 50 years in the United States, clinicians have seen a rise in diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and coronary artery disease. An estimated people die of heart disease every day in the United States. Chronic diseases related to diet and obesity have become significant causes of death in the United States across all ethnicities. Obesity has been linked to the significant etiological factor in diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and coronary artery disease. Although there have been several advancements in the scientific world regarding new medications and cutting-edge diagnostic techniques, the rate of these diseases has multiplied many times. Due to this trend, major organizations, including the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have all started looking at an integrative approach to managing this growing epidemic.
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