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Lifestyle changes could curb resistant hypertension

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A patient is considered to be suffering from hypertension when his blood pressure is greater than 130 mm Hg / 80 mm Hg. This hypertension is called resistant if the numbers refuse to drop despite the concurrent use of three medications. The problem is said to be more common in men than in women.

However, American researchers found that these patients could improve their lot by adopting the DASH diet and increasing their level of physical activity.

By increasing the physical activity of participants and then recalibrating their lifestyle habits in general, but especially their eating habits to approach the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide, we see a really significant drop in blood pressure, and that’s it. is a message that must be said and repeated, commented Prof. Benoît Arsenault, from the Institute on Nutrition and Functional Foods at Laval University.

Physical activity and healthy eating are among the most important drugs we have for lowering blood pressure, but also for preventing the incidence of cardiovascular disease in general.

In this study, 90 adults with resistant hypertension received weekly advice on sticking to the DASH diet, which includes eating more fruits and vegetables; more low-fat dairy products; more lean meat, nuts and whole grains; and less saturated fat and salt.

These subjects also participated in three supervised intense physical training sessions each week.

Another group of 50 subjects were sent home with advice on physical activity, weight loss and diet.

Members of the first group lowered their blood pressure by an average of 12 points, compared to seven points for those in the second group.

The intervention was not drastic diets, liquid diets and then things like that, said Mr. Arsenault. It was simply to suggest an approach that is validated as a treatment for high blood pressure in the general population. But here, we have just shown that it lowers blood pressure in patients who are resistant to their treatment.

The members of the first group essentially increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables and fiber, so it is not changes that are very drastic, he added.

In addition, continues Mr. Arsenault, we increase the consumption of fiber and there is no big decrease in calories, so we are not talking about a restrictive diet which is very difficult.

We’re just talking about making small changes, maybe cooking a little more, maybe eating out less often, eating less processed foods or fast food foods., he said.

More color

Most of the sodium in our diet does not come from the salt shaker on the table, but rather from the salt added to ultra-processed foods. So, by cooking more ourselves, by adding color to our plates, we can combat part of the problem.

An increase in the consumption of fruits, vegetables and fibers can also have an impact on the microbiota, the intestinal flora whose impact on multiple facets of our health is increasingly highlighted by studies.

I think we have several tools in our safe, we must use them all to ensure that the entire population has an acceptable blood pressure, concluded Mr. Arsenault. This should not be taken lightly because it is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. And then if arterial hypertension is not controlled, we see that it is a disease which can have effects which are not negligible.

The findings of this study were published by the journal Circulation and unveiled at a congress of theAmerican Heart Association.

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