One of my WFPB clients is 11 days into her new nutritional programme – eating whole plant-based foods with minimal amounts of added salt, oil and sugar.
When she first contacted me, she had four main aims:
Lower her high blood pressure.
Lower her blood cholesterol.
We will have to see about 2. when she has her blood test in a few weeks, but 1. and 3. are already showing encouraging signs.
While her weight has dropped from 64.5 kg to 62 kg and her waist from 93 cm to 88 cm, perhaps the most significant improvement was communicated to me in an email from her this morning. She wrote:
Just thought I would let you know that today my blood pressure is
[1st reading] 99/66 pulse 69
2nd reading 108/70 pulse 67 and
3rd reading 113/67 pulse 66
is that not too low ?”
On starting the diet only 11 days ago she had a history of hypertension as recorded by her GP. From the start of our WFPB programme, and under my direction, she began to monitor her own blood pressure and pulse on a daily basis with a home blood pressure monitor – sphygmomanometer (how it works) – that was able to empower her with the kind of valuable information that we so often delegate wholesale to the medical profession. Her blood pressure readings have been dropping consistently over the past days, from an initial reading of 156/96/68.
In my my reply email to her I indicated that her results are NOT too low! This is simply what happens when your body receives optimal nutrition. And, as with every client I have the pleasure of working with, I always supply supporting evidence for my assertions. Some of this is outlined below.
Is the ideal blood pressure for a 100 year old person the same that they had as a child? Is diet really a significant significant causal factor in the decade-by-decade rise in blood pressure we commonly see in our ageing population?
Dr Michael Greger in his remarkable best-selling book “How Not To Die” can help us with this:
“…do omnivores who are as slim as vegans enjoy the same blood pressure? To answer this question, researchers…compared…hard-core athletes to two groups: sedentary meat eaters who exercised less than an hour per week and sedentary vegans who ate mostly unprocessed, uncooked plant foods. How did the numbers come out? Not surprisingly, the endurance runners on a standard American diet had a better blood pressure average than their sedentary, meat-eating counterparts: 122/ 72 compared with 132/ 79, which fits the definition of prehypertensive. But the sedentary vegans? They averaged an extraordinary 104/ 62. (115)”
“Doctors used to be taught that a “normal” systolic blood pressure is approximately 100 plus age. Indeed that’s about what you’re born with. Babies start out with a blood pressure around 95/ 60. But, as you age, that 95 can go up to 120 by your twenties. By the time you’re in your forties, it can be up to 140— the official cutoff for high blood pressure— and then keep climbing as you get older. (35.) What would happen if, instead of consuming ten times more sodium than what your bodies were designed to handle, you just ate the natural amount found in whole foods? Is it possible your blood pressure would stay low your whole life? To test that theory, we’d have to find a population in modern times that doesn’t use salt, eat processed food, or go out to eat. To find a no-salt culture, scientists had to go deep into the Amazon rainforest. (36.) Strangers to saltshakers, Cheetos, and KFC, the Yanomamo Indians were found to have the lowest sodium intake ever recorded— which is to say the sodium intake we evolved eating. (37.) Lo and behold, researchers found that the blood pressures among older Yanomamo were the same as those of adolescents. (38.) In other words, they start out with an average blood pressure of about 100/ 60 and stay that way for life. The researchers couldn’t find a single case of high blood pressure. (39.)”
If you or anyone you know is interested in finding out more about WFPB nutrition, please contact me by email or telephone/Skype (0044 20 8133 8780 / 0044 7816 093686 / Skype ID joe.bath). I am always delighted to give free advice and support to whoever genuinely wants it.
(115) Fontana L, Meyer TE, Klein S, Holloszy JO. Long-term low-calorie low-protein vegan diet and endurance exercise are associated with low cardiometabolic risk. Rejuvenation Res. 2007;10( 2): 225– 34.
(35.) Celermajer DS, Neal B. Excessive sodium intake and cardiovascular disease: a-salting our vessels. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61( 3): 344– 5.
(36.) Oliver WJ, Cohen EL, Neel JV. Blood pressure, sodium intake, and sodium related hormones in the Yanomamo Indians, a “no-salt” culture. Circulation. 1975;52( 1): 146– 51.
(37.) Mancilha-Carvalho J de J, de Souza e Silva NA. The Yanomami Indians in the INTERSALT Study. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2003;80( 3): 289– 300.
(38.) Celermajer DS, Neal B. Excessive sodium intake and cardiovascular disease: a-salting our vessels. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61( 3): 344– 5.
(39.) Mancilha-Carvalho J de J, de Souza e Silva NA. The Yanomami Indians in the INTERSALT Study. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2003;80( 3): 289– 300.
Quoted passages from Greger, Michael; Stone, Gene. How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease (Air Side Edt). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.