So naturally when studies are done that show certain measures may help lower your blood pressure, many people are all ears.
But remember, not every study is what it seems…and many of them can be misleading.
Here’s a perfect example:
A recent hypertension study—what it did say
A recent “meta-analysis” (a review of previous studies on an issue) reported that removing meat from your diet can lead to blood pressure reductions similar to losing five kilos (about 11 pounds) of body weight.
In addition, as compared to blood pressure drugs, a vegetarian diet was found in this study to be about 50 percent as effective for lowering blood pressure.
What it didn’t say
There are a number of points regarding this study that were not addressed, but could make a huge difference in how valid the conclusions were:
1- What’s a vegetarian?
It was not made clear what type of vegetarian diet was responsible for these results, and the term “vegetarian” can have a variety of meanings.
Some eat fish and/or poultry, but no red meat. Some eat non-flesh proteins (dairy and eggs) but no flesh of any kind.
The more strict level of vegetarianism (vegan) avoids all animal-derived products, including meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and even honey in many instances.
2- Your guess is as good as mine
32 of the 39 studies reviewed for this meta-analysis were observational. That is, the researches relied on a dietary history provided by the study participants.
I don’t know about you, but I know many people who can’t even remember what they had for breakfast this morning, let alone their daily food intake for a period of time.
Plus the actual protein levels consumed by the participants were never directly measured…so we’re talking guesstimates at best. The more you guess, the more reliability goes out the window.
3- All meat eaters are not created equal
In addition, just like all vegetarians are not created equal, neither are all meat eaters.
It does not appear that the analysis drew any distinctions between non-vegetarians who ate small amounts of meat with lots of vegetables and those who chowed down a 24 oz. porterhouse with a mountain of French fries.
Clearly those two different versions of “meat eating” would likely produce vastly different health results!
4- Extracurricular activities
Another major issue is that important lifestyle factors were not taken into account.
Things like exercise, smoking and alcohol intake are extremely important considerations for hypertension risk, yet they were not even tracked, so their presence (or lack thereof) could most assuredly skew the results.
What ARE you eating as a vegetarian?
One point that frequently gets ignored when talking about vegetarian diets is: What ARE you eating instead of meat?
A truly healthy vegetarian diet concentrates on eating a wide variety of vegetables, as well as whole grains and plant-based sources of amino acids (like legumes and quinoa) to help ensure your nutritional needs are met.
Unfortunately, this is where many vegetarian diets go south.
Many non-meat diets are instead very high in refined carbs (pasta, rice and bread) which create a surge of glucose flowing through your bloodstream that can irritate the inner lining of your blood vessels, eventually leading to or worsening hypertension!
In addition, although there are non-animal sources of vitamin B12 (such as certain forms of algae and Crimini mushrooms), the B12 found in algae is not a form that is bioavailable for your body, and the B12 level in mushrooms is extremely low.
Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency is common in vegetarians…and unfortunately this deficiency also raises your risk of heart disease because you don’t have the necessary B12 to counteract homocysteine in your blood.
Plus unless they are organic, many of the meat and dairy substitutes that are popular with vegetarians are highly processed foods that contain GMO soy…and time will tell what the “Franken-proteins” created by playing God with food will do to our bodies.
So which is better?
Whether or not you choose to have animal-derived foods in your diet is entirely up to you.
But if you’re concerned with high blood pressure (or any other health challenge), the most important things to do regardless of whether you’re a meat-eater or not are to:
- Have a health-supporting diet
- Encourage sound digestion and efficient nutrient absorption
- Get regular exercise
A health-supporting diet is based on REAL foods—fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats—plus whatever meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs you wish to consume.
And regardless of whether or not you eat animal foods, you should limit your intake of refined carbohydrates—white bread, rolls, bagels, cookies, pastries, white rice, pasta, snack chips, crackers, etc.
Now for you meat eaters: You may not be aware of this, but a healthy serving of meat is about 3 ounces (or a piece the size of a deck of cards). So if you’re regularly getting FAR more than that, it’s time to cut back.
For you vegetarians: Since you’re not getting animal sources of vitamin B12, chances are good that you may be running low in this essential nutrient. Not only can this raise your heart disease risk, but it can also affect your brain and nervous system functioning and leave you with very little energy to boot!
Plus B12 absorption in the GI tract can many times be limited, so even if you eat meat, you may be getting far less B12 than you think.
Regardless of your diet, a great way to make sure you’re getting what you need that’s both convenient and easy to use is Hydroxaden 2.5!
Hydroxaden 2.5 is a B12 spray that you simply spritz right under your tongue every day. From there it can get absorbed through the mucus membranes in your mouth, thereby bypassing any shortcomings in the GI tract.
2- Encourage sound digestion and nutrient absorption
Having a health-promoting diet is extremely important, but you also need to make sure you’re properly assimilating and absorbing those nutrients you’re getting--and that depends on how good your digestion is.
So to ensure that your body gets the nutrients you need AND can use them, it's crucial to have a diet that your body can more easily digest and features a variety of nutrient sources.
And that is where the Great Taste No Pain system can be a tremendous help.
Great Taste No Pain not only gives you several delicious ways to get a wide variety of nutrients, but it also guides you on the right foods to pair together for more comfortable, thorough digestion and better nutrient absorption.
Plus you also have to have the enzymes for the job…and if you’ve had a less-than-stellar diet or have taken acid reducers for a while, your body may have trouble producing enough for your needs.
If you think inadequate enzymes may be a concern for you, an enzyme supplement like Digestizol Max can be just what you need.
Digestizol Max's blend of 14 plant-derived enzymes and 5 soothing herbs will give your body a welcome boost and help ensure that everything you've eaten is broken down like it should be.
And note that since Digestizol Max’s enzymes are all plant-derived, it’s suitable for vegetarians and meat eaters alike!
3- Get regular exercise
I know I must sound like a broken records, but if you want anything even remotely resembling good health, you MUST exercise.
And no, I’m not talking about 12 oz. curls.
You don’t have to get fancy—numerous studies have shown that even brisk walking can help lower blood pressure (and help those excess pounds slide off too, which further lowers your hypertension risk!) and nearly everyone can do that.
Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK, especially if you and the couch have been BFFs for a while.
It’s never too late!
Know this: Even if you are already on high blood pressure drugs (or other medications) you can make a tremendous difference in your health through the right diet, supplementation and exercise.
It’s never too late to get healthier.
To your health,
PS: You’ve asked for it and we’ve listened--our new multi-vitamin formula Super Core is coming soon!