• Vegetarian Diet Can Help Reduce Blood Pressure

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    While some people can't imagine a day without meat, others insist that a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is the best way to enjoy food and stay healthy. Vegetarian lifestyles and veganism have slowly moved from fad status to healthy living in the Western world, embraced by millions of people interested in eating natural foods and foregoing questionable meat sources to get their daily protein. If you're still on the fence about diving into earth and animal-friendly menus, consider the benefits of adopting the lifestyle before making the final decision.

    Eating a vegetarian diet appears to be associated with lower blood pressure (BP), and the diets can also be used to reduce blood pressure.

    Factors such as diet, body weight, physical activity and alcohol intake play a role in the risk of developing hypertension. Dietary modifications have been shown to be effective for preventing and managing hypertension.

    The authors analyzed seven clinical trials and 32 studies published from 1900 to 2013 in which participants ate a vegetarian diet. Net differences in BP associated with eating a vegetarian diet were measured.

    In the trials, eating a vegetarian diet was associated with a reduction in the average systolic (peak artery pressure) and diastolic (minimum artery pressure) BP compared with eating an omnivorous (plant and animal) diet. In the 32 studies, eating a vegetarian diet was associated with lower average systolic and diastolic BP, compared with omnivorous diets.

    Further studies are required to clarify which types of vegetarian diets are most strongly associated with lower BP. Research into the implementation of such diets, either as public health initiatives aiming at prevention of hypertension or in clinical settings, would also be of great potential value.

    A healthy vegetarian diet is typically low in fat and high in fiber. However, even a vegetarian diet can be high in fat if it includes excessive amounts of fatty snack foods, fried foods, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Therefore, a vegetarian diet, like any healthy diet, must be well planned in order to help prevent and treat certain diseases.

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    Staff Writer

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