New Study Finds that Consuming Protein from Multiple Sources Lowers the Risk of Blood Pressure!

New Study Finds that Consuming Protein from Multiple Sources Lowers the Risk of Blood Pressure!

If you’re worried about your blood pressure values, a good place to start is by sticking to a well-balanced diet, especially when it comes to protein!

According to a new study, consuming protein coming from a variety of different sources can be directly linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure.

As part of the research, participants ate at least four protein rich foods per week and registered no less than 66 per cent lower risk of hypertension when compared to the control group that had two or fewer sources of protein every week.

That being said, it appears that experts are strongly recommending consuming a really balanced diet in addition to getting enough sleep and exercising for those who need to get their blood pressure under control.

There is no doubt that the food you consume can have a huge impact on your health in general, especially as far as heart diseases are concerned.

However, most of the time, specialists like to recommend all kinds of diets that entail the increase of healthy fats, vegetables and whole grains while slashing sodium and animal products.

The new research in question, on the other hand, focused on another very important nutrient instead and that is protein!

The paper was published in the Hypertension journal not too long ago and, as mentioned before, proves that a diet filled with a greater variety of protein sources might be able to help people lower their risks of being diagnosed with high blood pressure as a result of their lifestyle.

The team of researchers was able to examine extensive data from almost 12,200 participants from the China Health and Nutrition Survey all of whom were part of two or more out of the seven rounds of the questionnaire.

For three consecutive days, all participants self-reported their diets including the types of food they had in their homes.

The researchers used all the initial responses as a baseline while the final round of the questionnaires acted as a follow-up.

The participants also received scores depending on how many protein sources they included in their diets out of a total of 8 different categories provided.

They were: refined grains, whole grains, unprocessed red meat, processed red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and legumes.

Each one source of protein the participants included in their diets earned them one point.

Then, after around six years, the researchers followed up with the participants in order to figure out whether or not they had developed any new hypertension since the survey originally happened.

As for the way they defined hypertension, it was any systolic pressure above or equal to 140 mm Hg as well as diastolic blood pressure over or equal to 90 mm Hg.

In addition to that, medically diagnosed or treated hypertension were, of course, also included in the results.

The research team learned that over 35 per cent of the participants did develop early-onset hypertension during those follow-ups while those who consumed over 4 protein sources every week had a 66 per cent lower risk of high blood pressure when compared to those who consumed under two sources of protein weekly.

Xianhui Qin, M.D. from the National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Disease at Nanfang Hospital at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China and the author of the study, stated that:

“Nutrition may be an easily accessible and really effective measure to fight hypertension. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is one of the 3 basic macronutrients.”

But what exactly is the correlation between protein and high blood pressure?

Well, according to director and senior scientist of the cardiovascular nutrition laboratory at Tufts University and professor of nutrition science and of policy, Alice H. Lichtenstein, she has never heard of such a connection before this revolutionary study.

In spite of this, however she admitted that the results are really intriguing and worthy of consideration.

In a press release, Lichtenstein stated that “The heart health message is that consuming a rather balanced diet with proteins coming from various  sources, rather than just focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help prevent the development of high blood pressure.”

Furthermore, Keri Gans, nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet, also explains that even though the new study clearly points to protein, there are other nutrients within the foods they used that could have been contributing factors as well.

For instance, you may be aware that legumes also contain a lot of fiber while fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, both of which could be able to impact someone’s blood pressure levels.

Gans also mentions that there are other sources of protein not included in the study such as nuts, seeds, and dairy products.

As for the reason why, Lichtenstein believes that it could be because the sample size had a rather different diet than in most Western cultures.

So what causes high blood pressure?

There are many different things that can affect your blood pressure levels including high alcohol consumption or eating too much processed food.

At the same time, blood pressure is also a result of family history as well as different medicine you may be taking.

Speaking of medication, there are quite a few solutions to help you keep your blood pressure in check but aside from medicine, making different adjustments to your lifestyle can also help a lot, being able to bring those levels down naturally.

Sleeping at least 7 hours at night, managing your stress levels and doing a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week can also keep high blood pressure at bay, Gans stressed, also adding that a diet rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium can be really beneficial as well.

Lichtenstein recommends also keeping your daily intake of sodium to 2,300 milligrams and to also avoid excessive alcohol intake.

At the same time, you should include foods like leafy greens and avocados in your diet as they tend to lower high blood pressure.

All in all, there is no doubt that high blood pressure is a huge problem for almost half of all the United States citizens.

Hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and can really damage heart health and the circulatory system when left untreated.

In turn, this can lead to stroke, heart attack and other similar health issues, as per the press release.

Other research has also found not too long ago that Americans’ blood pressure has been on the rise especially since the pandemic started.

Lichtenstein says that, in order to improve your heart health, your daily eating should not necessarily change completely just because of this study.

“Guidance or policy is never established on the basis of one single study. This report is interesting, but it’s important that the findings be replicated prior to making recommendations about protein variety in order to reduce the risk of developing hypertension.”

In the meantime, while more research is being done on the topic, the American Heart Association recommends, as part of their updated dietary guidelines, to make sure to include healthy sources of protein in their diets, including seafood, plant-based sources, fat-free and low-fat sources as well as unprocessed and lean meat or poultry.

More precisely, the recommendation is one to two servings or around 5.5 ounces of protein every day.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.