Vegetarian Diet Linked to Lower Blood Pressure

Feb 25, 2014 04:00 PM EST | By Dina Exil

  • print
fruits and veggies
A vegetarian diets rank as superior in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, and subsequent heart damage. (Photo : Flickr)

A new study finds that vegetarians have lower blood pressure and that a vegetarian diet ranked as superior in reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

According to Reuters, scientists in the United States and Japan conducted a "meta-analysis" of 39 high-quality, studies from 18 countries. The studies involved more than 21,000 participants. The researchers found that people who avoid meat had lower blood pressure levels.

Like Us on Facebook

"Consumption of vegetarian diets is associated with lower [blood pressure]," the study's conclusion read. "Such diets could be a useful nonpharmacologic means for reducing [blood pressure]."

High blood pressure can increase a person's risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disorders and other health problems. Victims usually are prescribed medication as a form of treatment. However, the cost of medication and the possible side effects can be issues.

A vegetarian diet excludes individuals from eating meat, but may include dairy products and eggs. The diet places an emphasis on food that includes vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits.

"If a diet change can prevent blood pressure problems or can reduce blood pressure, it would give hope to many people," Yoko Yokoyama, lead author told Reuters Health in an email. "However, in order to make healthful food choices, people need guidance from scientific studies. Our analysis found that vegetarian diets lower blood pressure very effectively, and the evidence for this is now quite conclusive."

According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure readings under 120 mm Hg systolic and 80 mm Hg diastolic (120/80) are considered normal. Clinical hypertension pressure starts at 140/90.

Research found that those who had a consistent vegetarian diet had an average systolic blood pressure of about 7 mm Hg lower, and a diastolic blood pressure that was 5 mm Hg lower, "than blood pressure readings of those who regularly ate meat and meat products."

"I would encourage physicians to prescribe plant-based diets as a matter of routine, and to rely on medications only when diet changes do not do the job," Yokoyama said. "And I would encourage everyone to try a plant-based diet, and especially to introduce plant-based diets to their children - they could prevent many health problems."

The results appeared in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday.

© 2014 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
The second largest fastfood chain in the world will launch its first stores in India in the coming months.  Target locations will be New Delhi, Mumbai and NCR.

Burger King India Soon To Open In Coming Months

The second largest fastfood chain in the world will launch its first stores in India in the coming months. Target locations will be New Delhi, Mumbai and NCR.

Panera cuts 2014 profit forecast, shares slip

Panera Cuts 2014 Profit Forecast, Shares Slip

Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O) on Tuesday lowered its full-year earnings forecast as it works to speed up service at its popular bakery cafes.

Papa John’s CEO At Funeral Of Ruthlessly Killed Employee At Late Shift In Pizza Store

Papa John’s CEO At Funeral Of Ruthlessly Killed Employee At Late Shift In Pizza Store

Papa John’s CEO At Funeral – John Schnatter, the founder and CEO of Papa John’s, attended a funeral held in commemoration of Gordon Schaffer’s recent passing on Sat.

Food Tech
Swiss-based food giant Nestlé is hiring 1,000 humanoid robots as sales clerks at stores across Japan.

Nestle To Hire 1,000 Humanoid Robots In Japan For Selling Coffee And Home Espresso Machines

The first batch of robots which will be called as Pepper will be assigned on their stations at the end of the year to sell home espresso machines and coffee capsules.

"Mooncake Hot Pot" And "Mooncake Salad" Appear In Chongqing

Brain’s Calorie Counter: The Reason Behind Craving Junk Food

A new study has found that there is such a thing as the brain’s calorie counter, which explains why the brain has a tendency to choose junk food over healthier one, as it’s attempting to fill a quota. The discovery of the brain’s calorie counter explains the body’s need for fatty foods, beyond the fact that these types of meals are cheaper.

Food and Drug Administration

FDA Seeks More Data On Sarepta Muscle Disorder Drug, Shares Slump

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had asked for additional data on its lead drug, delaying its marketing application by about six months.

Real Time Analytics