High Blood Pressure. Get It Under Control With Atkins
High blood pressure is a serious health problem, one that you need to get under control as quickly as possible. If your blood pressure is in the high normal to Stage 1 hypertension range (131 to 159 over 85 to 99), weight loss and some other important lifestyle changes may well be enough to bring it down to safer levels. If your blood pressure is higher than that, you may need antihypertensive medication —but weight loss and lifestyle improvements can definitely still help. Step 1: Lose Weight Because obesity is the leading risk factor for hypertension, losing weight is the most important step you can take to lower your blood pressure—and improve other aspects of your health at the same time. You don't need to trim down a lot to start seeing the benefit. Losing just 10 pounds will have a positive effect; losing 10 percent of your body weight will be even better. As a general rule, your systolic blood pressure (the higher number) will drop one point for every pound you lose.1 In practical terms, that means losing just 10 pounds could lower your blood pressure from the high normal range (130 to 139 over 85 to 89) back to normal (130 over 85 or lower). As your blood pressure drops, so does your risk of a heart attack or stroke. The controlled carbohydrate approach to weight loss is particularly effective in helping your blood pressure. When you follow the Atkins Nutritional Approach™, you lose weight steadily and easily on a diet that's naturally high in nutrients such as potassium and magnesium that have been shown to help reduce blood pressure (see “Mineral Supplements for Hypertension,” below, for more on this). A controlled carb program also helps lower high blood sugar. And because high blood pressure and high blood sugar are very closely linked, you help im Continue reading >>
Paleo & High Blood Pressure
A billion people worldwide including 79 million Americans (that’s one out of three adults over the age of 20) has high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension). Hypertension represents a real threat to public health since it is now the greatest mortality risk factor in both men and women and its prevalence is increasing. At the current rate, close to half of all adult Americans will have hypertension by 2030. This year alone, over 65,000 Americans will die of HBP complications. (1,2) Why has HBP reached such epidemic proportions? The conventional answer is that nobody knows. In fact, 95 percent of hypertension is considered “essential” meaning it has no known cause. It’s clear, however, that like other diseases of civilization such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and osteoporosis, our modern lifestyle plays a paramount role. It is extremely rare to find HBP in contemporary hunter-gatherer societies and like other chronic diseases of civilization, the rise of HBP follows our movement out of hunter-gatherer and pastoral lifestyles and into an increasingly high tech, urbanized world. We adapt enough to survive in this world, but do not thrive in it due to: Our processed food diets Exposure to environmental toxins both physical and psychological Inadequate sleep, sun, and exercise Disturbed circadian rhythms Weakened microbiome High blood pressure has genetic determinants, but is also very much a manifestation of a larger problem: our disconnect from nature and our traditional diet and lifestyles. (3,4,5) Current treatment recommendations for hypertension involve lifestyle modifications and medication. (6) However, all too often we rely on meds over lifestyle changes because, as we all know, change is hard. Friends, I’m here to tell you that taking the Paleo plunge is wor Continue reading >>
How To Normalize Your Blood Pressure
Elevated blood pressure is a common health issue today. Almost a third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure – perhaps you or someone in your family does? High blood pressure isn’t necessarily something you can feel, but it increases the risk of serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks. The good news is that you can improve your blood pressure by way of simple lifestyle changes. The usual treatment for elevated blood pressure today is medication. This is often reasonable. But what if you could achieve perfect blood pressure without pills or side-effects – with improved health and weight as welcome side-bonuses, instead? The truth is that high blood pressure was extremely rare as recently as a few hundred years ago. Something in today’s environment is giving more and more people high blood pressure. What is it? Contents What is blood pressure? Five ways to lower your blood pressure What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like: the pressure in your blood vessels. With a normal amount of blood, a healthy heart and healthy, elastic blood vessels, you’ll experience a normal blood pressure. Low blood pressure can make you feel dizzy, especially right when you stand up from having been seated. This is usually harmless and can be the result of dehydration or salt deficiency. Mildly or moderately elevated blood pressure will rarely give obvious symptoms (a light headache might occur sometimes). A very high blood pressure can give severe headaches, fatigue and nausea. High blood pressure is the result of an increased amount of liquid and salt in the blood, and also of the blood vessel walls being thicker and harder than normal. As high blood pressure often goes unnoticed, it’s common for people to live with it unawares for some t Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Everyone?
Is a ketogenic diet safe for you? Is a ketogenic diet safe? Before you try this at home… First and foremost, if you pick up a copy of Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman’s excellent new book, Keto Clarity (which I highly recommend–see my review here) and feel (understandably) inspired to immediately embark on a ketogenic diet, I would caution anyone with a serious chronic health problem, especially anyone who is taking prescription medications, not to attempt a ketogenic diet on his/her own without medical supervision. Medications and Early Ketosis Even though I personally believe in the power of ketogenic diets to improve and even reverse many chronic illnesses, from diabetes to chronic fatigue to mood disorders, the diet does this by causing very real shifts in body chemistry that can have a major impact on medication dosages and side effects, especially during the first few weeks. Examples of problematic situations include sudden drops in blood pressure for those on blood pressure medications (such as Lasix, Lisinopril, and Atenolol), and sudden drops in blood sugar for those on diabetes medications (especially insulin). These changes in blood pressure and blood sugar are very positive and healthy, but the presence of medications can artificially intensify these effects and cause extreme and sometimes dangerous reactions unless your dosage is carefully monitored by you and your clinician in the first month or so. Another important example of a medicine that would require careful monitoring is Lithium, an antidepressant and mood stabilizing medicine. The ketogenic diet causes the body to let go of excess water during the first few days, which can cause Lithium to become more concentrated in the blood, potentially rising to uncomfortable or even toxic levels. These Continue reading >>
Ask Allison: What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Q: What is a Ketogenic/Keto diet? A: A ketogenic (keto) diet is a very high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. It has many medical benefits for children with epilepsy, and some people follow a keto diet for its potential weight loss benefits. A keto diet results in ketosis—a state in which ketones, formed from fatty acids, are burned as the main energy source by the body and brain rather than glucose (glucose, or blood sugar, is the broken down, usable from of carbohydrates). Q: What is ketosis? A: Ketosis is the result of a ketogenic diet in which the body produces ketones for fuel instead of using glucose. While in ketosis the body switches to fat for almost all energy needs. Q: What are ketones? A: Ketones are an alternative fuel to blood sugar (glucose) for the body. There are three different ketones (or “ketone bodies”) used by the body for fuel (acetone, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate). Ketones are produced in the liver from fat as a byproduct formed during the conversion of fatty acids to fuel. Q: What do you eat on a ketogenic diet? A: Someone following a ketogenic diet will consume moderate amounts of protein, high amounts of fat, and very low amounts carbohydrates (less than 50g/day); a rough macronutrient ratio would be 15-25% protein, 70%+ fat, and 10% carbs. This usually includes natural fats (butter, olive oil), meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, and primarily green vegetables. People on a keto diet will avoid sweet, sugary, and starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread. Q: What’s the difference between keto and low carb? A: They are very similar; in most low carb diets, however protein is not restricted whereas for a keto diet protein is restricted to moderate amounts. Additionally, many low carb diets don’t require the majorit Continue reading >>
6 Ways To Lower Blood Pressure By Changing Your Diet
This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist and content manager for ChrisKresser.com. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her blog or visiting her on Facebook. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious and common condition that can lead to life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, heart or kidney failure, and more. While 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, this condition only affects 3% or less of hunter-gatherer populations that are following a traditional diet and lifestyle. (1, 2) This would suggest that hypertension is a disease of poor lifestyle choices, and one that can be effectively treated using simple diet and behavior changes, as well as strategic use of herbal remedies. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers: the top number is the systolic pressure (when the heart is pumping blood) and the bottom number is the diastolic pressure (when the heart is at rest). A normal blood pressure number is below 120/80, prehypertension is diagnosed between 120/80 – 139/89, Stage 1 hypertension is between 140/90 – 159/99, and Stage 2 hypertension is blood pressure above 160/100. While most doctors prescribe drug treatment when a patient has reached the prehypertension stage, there is no evidence to support pharmaceutical treatment in these patients. (3) But this doesn’t mean hypertension shouldn’t be addressed. Much like high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure (even in the prehypertension stage) is a sure sign of other problems going on in the body. By addressing underlying issues with diet and lifestyle changes, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure without resorting to drug treatment. This article will address Continue reading >>
Can A Low-carb Diet Cause Low Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood against artery walls when the heart is beating and at rest. The systolic, or top number, measures the pressure during the heartbeat, while the diastolic, or bottom number, measures the pressure when the heart is at rest. High blood pressure affects about 80 million people in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. It doesn't cause any symptoms, but excess pressure against the artery walls causes them to stretch and weaken, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. While there are a number of causes of high blood pressure, including genetics and age, factors such as poor food choices, inactivity and carrying excess weight may also increase your risk. Losing weight and making healthier food choices are part of the treatment plan for high blood pressure. Although the typical diet to manage blood pressure is high in fruits, veggies, whole grains and dairy foods, a low-carb diet might work to improve your numbers, too. Low-Carb Diet Basics The premise behind a low-carb diet is that it helps your body burn fat instead of storing it. While there are no set rules, many low-carb diets kick-start your weight loss by severely restricting your intake of carbs -- 20 to 50 grams a day -- during the early stages. This causes your body to go into a state of ketosis, burning fat instead of glucose to fuel your brain. Then, carbs are slowly added back in phases, depending on the low-carb plan you're following, to slow weight loss and help you find the right amount of carbs to maintain weight loss, which can be as high as 150 grams a day. In addition to helping you burn fat, low-carb diets suppress appetite, which helps cut calories, too. While low-carb diets offer a number of benefits for weight loss, they Continue reading >>
Can A Low Carb Diet Lower Blood Pressure?
We previously looked at research suggesting that a well-planned, low-carb diet coupled with exercise can help you lower blood sugar, triglycerides, and body weight and also improve HDL cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. But what impact does ketogenic diet have on blood pressure? Recent research suggests that maintaining an optimal blood pressure is even more critical for your heart and overall health than previously thought. Read below to learn how cutting carbs and keto may be a good tool in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. What is Blood Pressure? Before looking at the research, we need to straighten out the sometimes intimidating terminology behind blood pressure. Blood pressure, often shortened as BP, is the pressure exerted by blood upon the walls of blood vessels. Typically, it refers to the pressure exerted upon arteries which are the vessels that carry blood away from the heart. As you might know, BP is usually expressed as one number over another. The top number, called systolic pressure, refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts. This is the maximum pressure exerted upon the walls of the blood vessels. The bottom number, called diastolic pressure, indicates the pressure in your arteries between heart beats. This value is lower than the systolic pressure because the heart is exerting less force on the fluids against the artery walls. Both pressures are measured by the units “millimeters of mercury”, which is abbreviated as mm Hg. What is a Healthy Blood Pressure? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the “standard” human blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Healthy blood pressure is typically below these numbers. People with a systolic blood pressure between 120-139 mm Hg and a diastolic blood pressure bet Continue reading >>
Should You Go Vegetarian To Control Your Blood Pressure?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) increases your risk for a number of more serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke A recent meta-analysis found that removing meat from the diet led to blood pressure reductions similar to losing five kilos of body weight Compared to blood pressure drugs, a vegetarian diet was found to be about 50 percent as effective for lowering blood pressure Cutting out meat from your diet is NOT the only way to normalize your blood pressure. In fact, insulin resistance is a primary promoter of high blood pressure, which is the result of a diet too high in sugar, not protein When it comes to meat, two key factors that will determine the healthfulness of your diet are the quality of the meat, and the amount. Most people need to reduce their portions, and limit meat to organic grass-fed, pastured meats only By Dr. Mercola According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure is "the second greatest public health threat" in the US, and about half of all with hypertension have uncontrolled high blood pressure.1 This increases your risk for a number of more serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke. Interestingly, 16 million Americans who are on blood pressure medication still don't have their blood pressure under control—a fact that emphasizes the need for basic lifestyle changes in order to truly resolve this problem. Vegetarian Diet Lowers Blood Pressure A recent meta-analysis2, 3 suggests that a vegetarian diet may be part of the solution. Lead author Yoko Yokoyama told Reuters Health:4 "For many people, the only treatment has been medication, but that means costs and possible side effects. However, in order to make healthful food choices, people need guidance from scientific stu Continue reading >>
10 Health Benefits Of Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets
Low-carb diets have been controversial for decades. They were originally demonized by fat-phobic health professionals and the media. People believed that these diets would raise cholesterol and cause heart disease because of the high fat content. However... times are changing. Since the year 2002, over 20 human studies have been conducted on low-carb diets. In almost every one of those studies, low-carb diets come out ahead of the diets they are compared to. Not only does low-carb cause more weight loss, it also leads to major improvements in most risk factors... including cholesterol. Here are the 10 proven health benefits of low-carb and ketogenic diets. Hunger is the single worst side effect of dieting. It is one of the main reasons why many people feel miserable and eventually give up on their diets. One of the best things about eating low-carb is that it leads to an automatic reduction in appetite (1). The studies consistently show that when people cut carbs and eat more protein and fat, they end up eating much fewer calories. In fact... when researchers are comparing low-carb and low-fat diets in studies, they need to actively restrict calories in the low-fat groups to make the results comparable (2). When people cut carbs, their appetite tends to go down and they often end up eating much fewer calories without trying. Cutting carbs is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight. Studies show that people on low-carb diets lose more weight, faster, than people on low-fat diets... even when the low-fat dieters are actively restricting calories. One of the reasons for this is that low-carb diets tend to get rid of excess water from the body. Because they lower insulin levels, the kidneys start shedding excess sodium, leading to rapid weight loss in the Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Fighting high blood pressure with the power of Ketogenic foods Before we provide a list of things to eat, it’s important that you understand what is desirable in foods that lower blood pressure: Sodium This important mineral does a lot for the body, regulating fluids and helping with electrical pulses. One of the drawbacks to sodium is that when the bloodstream has high quantities of sodium, it retains more water. This effectively increases the quantity of blood and thus raises pressure within the circulatory system. Much like a hose has added pressure when you open the faucet to full open. Processed foods contain the majority of sodium in the average American’s diet, so in order to reduce sodium quantity, either reduce the processed foods from your diet or start paying attention to the sodium quantities in them. Potassium This is the Yin to the Yang of Salt. Potassium balances out sodium in the system and helps the kidneys to excrete excess sodium from the blood. The typical US diet is overabundant in sodium and is lacking in potassium, which is part of the reason 90% of adult Americans will have hypertension in their lifetime. Magnesium and Calcium These two elements are complementary to each other and should be consumed in a 2:1 ratio Calcium:Magnesium. For the purposes of high blood pressure they work to help relax the muscle tissue around the blood vessels allowing the vessels to widen and reduce pressure in the system. A recent study of meta data concluded a significant correlation between Magnesium supplementation and modest decreases in hypertension. Ideally, you would try and eat your calcium sources in the mornings and your magnesium in the evening due to them competing for the same absorption channels. Flavonoids (BioFlavonoids) These are a kind of antiox Continue reading >>
Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments
There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Diabetes-how Does It Help You With Diabetes?
Ketogenic diet and weight loss What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet was actually developed in 1924, but was actually used as treatment for epilepsy. Most diets for type 2 diabetics are designed for weight loss and usually not by a high fat diet, but then again what diet isn’t created to lose weight, period? But what the ketogenic diet and diabetes will have in common is that because it is a low carb, high fat diet, there shows the potential to change the way your body uses and stores energy which have an end result of decreasing your diabetes symptoms. This particular diet also aids in reducing risk factors for epilepsy, stroke, Alzhemier’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes. With the ketogenic diet, your body enters ketosis, which is a metabolic state, and the body then uses ketone “bodies” for energy in lieu of glucose. These bodies are more of a constant source of energy than of glucose that gets its energy from carbohydrates. Let’s talk about fat here The truth is that too much fat is no good but I’m sure that you’re not surprised to hear that. Most but not all fats are essential for our health and are good for us. There’s more calories in in a gram of fat compared to carbohydrates and proteins, but they are the best of efficient energy available. Promoting consuming foods such as vegetables, fish, healthy fats and oils, and meats is what the keto diet is all about. This particular diet is one that you can support long term. And recent studies have shown that by eating a diet that consists of a high fat, low carb diet as opposed to a high carb, low fat diet resulted in: Reduced insulin resistance and reduced blood sugar levels, which can reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Greatly reduced blood pressure which in turn also reduces the Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And High Cholesterol
I recently got some blood work back and I wanted to share my results in hopes that it may offer some insight to others who may find themselves at the crossroads of the ketogenic diet and high cholesterol. I have been following a low-carb high-fat diet since July and generally speaking I have been really happy with how it has impacted my body composition, athletic performance, energy and blood sugar control. I’ve written an ebook about it (specifically in relation to type 1 diabetes) and I want to be fair and share the challenges that I’m having as well. What I am presenting here is in no way advice or even a solution that I have found for myself–but rather a question that I am working through. I’ve always had elevated cholesterol (last 10 years) and I’ve always prioritized my blood sugar management over cholesterol. Simply put, there are more questions about the risks of cholesterol than the risks of elevated blood sugar, so I focus on the “devil I know”. I got my bloodwork back and found that my total cholesterol is 383 with LDL at 292. My a1c was 6.5. Neither of these individually are what I am shooting for and both in combination are a bit more alarming. Being perfectly honest it feels like a massive failure to be back at this point of reevaluating everything again. It’s hard not to be governed by numbers but it’s not responsible to ignore them either. I declined statin medication and I was told to switch to a low fat diet high carb diet. My blood pressure was 104/84 and I typically have a resting pulse rate of about 60. I immediately did an internet search on the keto diet correlating to elevated cholesterol and found a whole lot of conjecture. There haven’t been conclusive tests done to evaluate the risk of elevated LDL while on a ketogenic diet Continue reading >>
- Cholesterol-Reducing Drugs May Lead to Rapid Aging, Diabetes, and Brain Damage! Here Is How to Reduce Your LDL Cholesterol Naturally!
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Tips for Eating with High Cholesterol and Diabetes
Starting Low Carb With High Blood Pressure
So you have high blood pressure and you want to try a low-carb diet? Congratulations! It may be the most effective thing for lowering your blood pressure naturally. In some cases it may even normalize your blood pressure completely. However, there are two minor potential problems. 1. Blood pressure medication If you’re on blood pressure medication and start a low-carb diet there’s a risk of getting low blood pressure. You may relatively quickly become too healthy for your medication. This blood pressure lowering effect on low carb can happen within days, but it may also take months or even a year to reach full effect. If you feel weak, tired, dizzy etc. you should check your blood pressure. If it’s low, e.g. below 120/80, you should contact your doctor to discuss lowering or stopping your medication. 2. Salt and bouillon When starting a low-carb diet we often recommend getting extra fluid and salt, perhaps in the form of bouillon – especially during the first two weeks. The reason is to minimize early side effects that can otherwise be troublesome during the first week on low carb, e.g. headache. You should only take this bouillon if your blood pressure is well controlled, as it may increase blood pressure marginally. If your blood pressure is high despite medication you should not take extra salt or bouillon. Doing so could raise the blood pressure even higher, and it is not wise to risk that. Any side effects will usually pass within a few days anyway. Learn more How to normalize your blood pressure Return to the low-carb beginner’s guide Low carb for doctors Are you a doctor or do you know one? Here’s our low carb for doctors resource, with information on how to safely handle medications on a low-carb diet: Continue reading >>