According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, currently nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, with readings consistently at or above 130/80.
Note that the hypertension population got a big “boost” back in 2017 when the high blood pressure threshold was changed from 140/90 down to 130/80. When that occurred, the percentage of American adults with hypertension jumped from 32 percent under the old guidelines up to nearly 46 percent!
I’m sure they were celebrating with champagne at Pfizer that day.
Although the number of people with high blood pressure continues to grow, incredibly the typical mainstream medical recommendations have barely evolved.
You’ll still be told to watch your salt intake, and a shocking four out of five will receive a prescription for medication right out of the gate.
But if this approach is so effective, then why is the number of people with hypertension going up and not down?
And why do currently only 1 in 4 people with high blood pressure have it under control?
Something clearly doesn’t add up.
Let’s take a closer look.
Is it just salt that’s the problem?
It’s true that salt can cause your body to retain water, which can increase your blood volume and drive up your blood pressure.
But salt is also a necessary electrolyte that actually helps normalize your blood pressure and stabilize irregular heartbeat too!
It also helps with the following:
- Extract excess acidity from the cells in your body (especially your brain cells)
- Balance blood sugar levels (important for diabetics!)
- Nerve cell communication
- Support your bone strength and prevents muscle cramps
So clearly, it’s not the monster it’s been made out to be!
Where people run into salt problems is when their diets are high in processed foods which are INUNDATED with salt.
Potassium matters too!
Doctors rarely mention this, but too little potassium is as much (if not more) of a concern as too much salt.
Sodium and potassium work together in the “sodium-potassium pump” which creates electrical charges in your cells that control your muscles, organs and bodily functions. These electrical charges also regulate the calcium levels in your cells.
But when you have too little potassium, that causes elevated calcium levels, which in turn makes the smooth muscle cells in your arteries contract, raising your blood pressure.
Potassium-rich foods include avocados, Swiss chard, green beans, broccoli, coconut, prunes, lima beans, tomatoes, spinach, bananas, sweet potatoes, chicken, roast beef and salmon.
So again, as you would suspect, people who eat a lot of processed foods are likely very low in potassium.
Are you starting to see a pattern?
So far, I’ve explained how too much of one mineral (salt) can be a factor in high blood pressure, as well as too little of another (potassium).
And BOTH of those are primarily the result of eating junk instead of a whole foods diet.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Because current research is showing that one of the primary underlying causes of hypertension is related to your body’s production of insulin.
As you may recall, insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas which tells your cells to take in excess glucose from your bloodstream.
However, the problem arises when your bloodstream is repeatedly inundated with glucose. At that point, your cells may start ignoring the instructions from insulin and “closing the door” on any more glucose coming in…leading to insulin resistance and ultimately glucose intolerance.
Plus insulin can build up in your bloodstream as well, known as hyperinsulinemia.
Studies have shown that about 50 percent of the people with high blood pressure also have hyperinsulinemia or glucose intolerance, plus up to 80 percent of people with full-blown Type 2 diabetes have hypertension.
Additionally, elevated uric acid levels are also strongly associated with high blood pressure.
And ALL OF THE ABOVE are primarily the result of A DIET HIGH IN PROCESSED FOODS AND REFINED CARBS!
Face the music
If there was any doubt in your mind that your diet is the number one culprit behind high blood pressure, there should be no remaining questions now!
And all the hypertension medications in the world won’t change that.
So avoiding all processed/packaged foods, fast food and refined carbs (like bread, pasta, chips, sweets and soda) is the single biggest step you can take toward normalizing your blood pressure.
Also avoid inflammatory vegetable and seed oils (including margarine and “buttery spreads”) and all foods prepared with them.
In addition, here are 4 other very effective ways to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range:
Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been proven to lower blood pressure and increasing numbers of doctors are advising their patients to up their Omega-3 intake.
One of the best ways to engage this natural anti-inflammatory and help lower blood pressure is to take a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement like VitalMega-3.
VitalMega-3 provides a whopping 1,200 mg of inflammation-taming Omega-3 essential fatty acids in every 2-capsule dose, including the EPA and DHA fats that are crucial to brain and heart health.
Squeeze in some exercise
Regular exercise has been shown in countless studies to help lower blood pressure.
Now, you don’t need to get fancy or join a gym! You can walk in your neighborhood or on a treadmill, join a class, or use DVDs in your home.
Just be sure get your doctor’s OK first—I’m sure he or she will be thrilled.
Get enough vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with high blood pressure and it’s easy to see why. Vitamin D has inflammation-fighting properties, and since inflammation is a driving force behind high blood pressure, without vitamin D’s protection, you may be more prone to arterial inflammation and increases in blood pressure.
You can help make sure you have enough vitamin D by getting brief unprotected sun exposure (20 minutes) each day and supplementing with a top-quality formula like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B.
Optimum DK Formula provides a therapeutic 5,000 IU dose of vitamin D3, plus its partner vitamins K1 and K2 and the mineral boron.
All of these nutrients work together synergistically to support strong cardiovascular health, as well as immune and bone health too!
Stress and hypertension go hand in hand, so do whatever you need to do to reduce stress in your life.
Regular exercise is a natural stress reducer as well as a great way to lower blood pressure, so that’s another good reason to dust off those sneakers.
Also, consider adopting a pet if you are an animal lover.
In addition to helping reduce stress, a review of studies published in Circulation showed that having a pet—especially a dog or cat—improves cardiovascular health! And some of the studies have found a specific connection between pet ownership and lower blood pressure.
Now you know more than your doctor about high blood pressure, and how to help keep yours where it needs to be!
To your health,