Salt, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Author Sidebar: I loved salty foods, especially potato chips and pretzels. But, because of my diabetes, I realized that I had to stop eating those foods. :-) 

During my research, I also found out that I had to stop eating ham, lunch meats, salted peanuts, pizza, fried chicken, chicken wings, Campbell's chicken soup,and bacon. Man! It was difficult giving up all of those foods, but, the only one that I really miss is the bacon! :-)

More importantly, I discovered that once I started eating more foods that contained potassium and magnesium (e.g. green vegetables, black beans) along with more healthy fats (e.g. wild salmon, sardines, raw nuts, plant oils), it helped to rebalance my sodium-potassium levels and lower my blood pressure! 

In addition, I replaced the white (processed) salt with real sea salt and avoided the processed foods which also contained the white salt; and, along with the exercise change -- voilà! -- my blood pressure started to come down!

If you're struggling with your blood pressure, just follow a macronutrient-balanced nutritional program in my Death to Diabetes book or a low carb diet in my Low Carb Diets book. Note: Although my low carb diabetes diet was originally designed for Type 2 diabetics,  non-diabetics have benefited from the diet as well.

More than 70% of people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. More than 85% of people with Type 2 diabetes consume too much salt on a daily basis. Coincidence? Is there a connection?

When we consume too much salt, the kidneys can't keep up to remove the excess sodium, which remains in our blood and cells, attracting water. And, as the amount of water causes the volume of blood to increase, this raises blood pressure.

Of course, this is an oversimplification of the complex series of biological processes that can lead to high blood pressure.

Nutritional Strategy for High Blood Pressure

The keys to lowering your blood pressure naturally without the need for high blood pressure drugs include using the following strategies from the Death to Diabetes book, e.g. eating more whole foods such as vegetables, eating less processed foods, and exercising on a daily basis.

Diet: A plant-based diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes and plant oils in combination with consuming less salt (to less than five grams (100 mmols sodium) will help to lower blood pressure for most people. 

Vegetables: Eat more green and bright-colored vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and red peppers for the Vitamin C, chlorophyll, and other nutrients. And, use fresh herbs and spices. 

Nitrates: Eat dark green leafy vegetables and beets, which are rich sources of the natural nitrates that can be converted to nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels.

In order to increase your nitrate intake, eat arugula, beets, celery, lettuce, spinach, and watercress as they contain more than 250 milligrams of nitrates per 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces. Other nitrate-rich vegetables include celery, Chinese cabbage, endive, fennel, leek, and parsley, with 100 to 250 milligrams per 100 grams.

If you don't like to eat these vegetables, then, make them part of your raw juicing regimen.

Potassium & Magnesium: According to the latest science, a proper balance of sodium, in addition to potassium and magnesium, will help a lot more to lowering your blood pressure.

Examples of potassium and magnesium-rich foods include vegetables, beans and some whole fruits to naturally reduce and normalize the sodium levels in the body.

Raw Juicing: Drink a glass of raw green juice before each major meal, using some of the aforementioned vegetables.

Use the author's specific recipes (in his Power of Raw Juicing book) which are designed to help lower blood pressure.

Water: Drink filtered or distilled water instead of tap water.

Heaklthy Fats: Eat foods rich in monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 EFAs, especially cold-water fish, flaxseed, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, organic flax oil, and avocado. 

If you don’t like fish, try a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil capsule (1000 to 1500 mg daily), plus extra Vitamin E to protect the oil from peroxidation. 

Processed Foods: Also, avoid processed foods such as canned tomato juice, soups, and lunch meats because they tend to contain high levels of sodium. Avoid or reduce the consumption of most condiments, pickles, ham, bacon, salsa, cheese, cold cuts, olives, and broths.

Also, avoid fast foods, junk food, and fried foods (say goodbye to Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeye's). And, be wary of some salt substitutes that may contain too much potassium chloride.

Salt: Replace the table salt with real salt, e.g. sea salt such as Himalayan salt.

Lifestyle Strategies for High Blood Pressure

Exercise: Try to exercise at least 4 to 5 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes -- aerobic exercise and resistance training.

Stress: Reduce the stress in your life with meditation and deep-breathing exercises. Also, ensure that you get quality sleep on a regular basis.

Medications: Reduce/avoid medications, especially those that can raise your blood pressure, e.g. cold/cough medications.

If you are diabetic and want to lower your blood pressure naturally and not have to depend on a lot of blood pressure medications, then, we recommend that you get  the author's Death to Diabetes Book (or expanded ebook).

If you have a juice or blender and prefer to juice, then, get the author's Raw Juicing Book.

If you want a lot of healthy, balanced recipes to control and lower your high blood pressure, then, get the author's 3-in-1 Death to Diabetes Cookbook or try his Low Carb Diets book.

References:

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  23. Stephen Z. Fadem, MD, FASN, FACP, serves as a member of the AAKP Medical Advisory Board and a Vice President of the AAKP Board of Directors. Dr. Fadem is a practicing nephrologist in Houston.

 

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