Factors Affecting Blood Pressure Responses to Diet
Known as the ‘silent killer’ blood pressure is a common disease affecting cardiovascular system. It is described as a state of persistent increased arteries pressure of 140/90 or even higher. In this regard one hundred and forty is systolic pressure. In other terms, systolic pressure refers to blood pressure that is against the arteries when the heart is either beating or alternatively contracting. Ninety is diastolic pressure which means blood pressure whenever the heart is between beats or at relaxation.
Blood pressure rise and fall is influenced by varying factors. For instance, individuals genetically responsive to sodium will experience spikes in blood pressure whenever they consumer excess salt. Among those sensitive to high salt intake include children from a background of parents with high blood pressure, seniors over the age of fifty and African Americans. It is essential to ensure people are aware of blood pressure complications as prolonged cases can lead to renal failure, increased chances of suffering a stroke and in some cases, heart failure.
Dietary salt plays an important role in determining the blood pressure level of an individual. As mentioned earlier, individuals with genetic sensitivity to salt are more likely to have increased blood pressure when they take in a lot of salt. However, it is essential to note that the influence of salt intake is notable in individuals with low intake of calcium. Note that while salt elevates the blood pressure, calcium lowers it. Potassium
Potassium plays significant role in influencing blood pressure largely because it aids in lowering it. Dietary sources high in potassium include avocados, acorn squash, bananas and even tomato juice. Potassium helps by maintaining the osmotic intracellular pressure which refers to the force needed to stop water flow through a membrane.
Diet induced plans have a significant impact on determination of blood pressure changes. This change is mediated by decrease in cholesterol level and plasma glucose. Independent of diet though, blood pressure effects on diet are linked changes in mineral metabolism which are mediated by mineral regulating hormones.
A research study carried out in Harvard, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) examined 459 adults. The candidates had systolic pressure of not more than 160 and diastolic pressure of 80 and 95. The participants were assigned to one of 3 diets for 8 weeks.
- Diet 1-Known as Control Diet, it contained high cholesterol and fat matching the usual American diet. The diet also had low calcium, potassium and magnesium levels.
- Diet 2 and 3-These were divided into the “Fruit and Vegetable Diet” as well as “Combination Diet”. The former was at par with the Control Diet with the only difference been high level of magnesium and potassium. Vegetable and fruit diet lead to a reduction in systolic pressure compared to control diet.
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