National Blood Pressure Education Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure, a disorder that greatly increases the risk for heart disease. That is why May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month.
Because high blood pressure affects your heart and circulation, hypertension is linked to heart disease. The American Heart Association refers to hypertension as “the silent killer,” because it has no symptoms on its own but can lead to heart attack, heart failure, and atherosclerosis.
Diet plays a substantial role in hypertension. A diet high in fatty foods increases the viscosity of your blood, making it thicker and thus harder to pump through your veins. High protein consumption may increase blood pressure. Participants enrolled in a study published in The Journal of the American College of Nutritionwere divided into two groups according to blood pressure – uncontrolled (≥ 135/85 mm Hg) or controlled (≤ 135/85 mm Hg). According to a three-day diet analysis, the group with uncontrolled blood pressure consumed more protein and meat than the group with controlled blood pressure. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes is the best bet to keep your heart in good health.
For more information on the links between diet and heart disease, visit our heart disease resources.