It Also Helps Lower Risk Of Diabetes Heart Disease
by Candy Sagon, AARP Bulletin| 0
More good news for chocolate lovers: A new Harvard study finds that eating a small square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure for people with hypertension.
The study joins the growing research into the heart-healthy benefits of flavonoids, compounds in unsweetened chocolate that cause dilation of the blood vessels. The Harvard study was announced today in Atlanta at the American Heart Association’s science session on cardiovascular disease.
How Cannabis Edibles Affect You Differently
Its well established that cannabis edibles take significantly longer than inhaled marijuana to enter the bloodstream.
Smoking results in a near instantaneous onset, whereas consuming cannabis commonly takes between 30 to 60 minutes. But that can vary depending on many different factors including the users metabolism and the contents of the edible itself.
Overconsumption is a significant concern because of the delayed time to onset of its intended effects. Unlike inhaled cannabis, ingested cannabis must be digested first before being absorbed, and once it has been ingested, its on board, which means people might not feel effects immediately and hence inadvertently overconsume, said Dr. Lawrence Loh, MPH, an author of the research and faculty member at the University of Toronto.
Other significant factors in determining how quickly an edible could kick in include: sex, weight, diet, and tolerance to cannabis.
The effects of marijuana edibles also last a lot longer than smoking, with peak THC blood levels occurring around 3 hours after consumption.
The latency of the high from edibles can frequently result in an all-too-common scenario for some users: eating the edible, not feeling the effects immediately, and then consuming more.
Theres the potential for cannabis-induced psychosis, which results in paranoia, confusion, and hallucinations.
Particularly in older adults, cannabis can also result in cardiac events.
Worst Foods For High Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, know you’re not alone. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults actually have high blood pressure but don’t know it, as most of the time, there aren’t many obvious symptoms. If you do have high blood pressure and it’s left untreated, your circulatory system can be severely damaged and it can lead to other serious issues such as heart attack and stroke.
There are things you can do to help control your blood pressure, and that starts with the foods you’re eating. Your best bet? To avoid the worst foods that make your blood pressure worse. So we went ahead and rounded up a list of the 13 worst foods for high blood pressure so you can eliminate these culprits from your diet once and for all. Instead, stock up on the healthy foods that help lower your blood pressure! And while you’re working toward making healthier life changes, check out What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.
There is tons of evidence out there that high sodium intake is associated with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Potato chips are the ultimate salty snack, and if you find yourself eating potato chips regularly, you’re going to end up setting yourself up for disaster. One study found a connection between eating potato chips and an increase in heart disease.
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Is High Blood Pressure Always Bad
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a risk factor for several health conditions, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and other metabolic issues. However, is high blood pressure always a cause for concern? New findings question that assumption.
Up to 75 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
What is high blood pressure? Well, it is hard to accurately answer that question, as specialists are still debating what counts as normal blood pressure.
Different organizations currently offer different guidelines on high blood pressure.
For instance, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explain that, among adults, hypertension is a consistent systolic reading of 140 mm Hg or higher.
However, the American Heart Association suggest that hypertension occurs when a person has a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or above. Meanwhile, the CDC consider people with systolic blood pressure of 120139 mm Hg as being only at risk of hypertension.
Generally speaking, doctors advise their patients especially older adults to keep monitoring their own blood pressure and keep it in check.
This is to make sure that it does not reach the threshold for hypertension, which many healthcare professionals consider to be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, among other things.
In fact, the researchers note, some people in their 80s may even see some benefits.
Comparison Of Sodium In Foods
Meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh meat, 3 oz. cooked: Less than 90 mg
Shellfish, 3 oz: 100 to 325 mg
Tuna, canned, 3 oz: 300 mg
Lean ham, 3 oz.: 1,025 mg
*Whole milk, 1 cup: 120 mg
Skim or 1% milk, 1 cup: 125 mg
*Buttermilk , 1 cup: 260 mg
*Swiss cheese, 1 oz: 75 mg
*Cheddar cheese, 1 oz : 175 mg
Low-fat cheese, 1 oz.: 150 mg
*Cottage cheese , 1/2 cup: 455 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh or frozen vegetables, and no-salt-added canned , 1/2 cup: Less than 70 mg
Vegetables canned or frozen , 1/2 cup: 55-470 mg
Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup: 660 mg
Breads, cereals, rice and pasta
Food: Milligrams sodium
Bread, 1 slice: 110-175 mg
English muffin : 130 mg
Ready-to-eat, shredded wheat, 3/4 cup: Less than 5 mg
Cooked cereal , 1/2 cup: Less than 5 mg
Instant cooked cereal, 1 packet: 180 mg
Canned soups, 1 cup: 600-1,300 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Canned and frozen main dishes, 8 oz: 500-1,570 mg
*These can also be high in saturated fat, unless low-fat or reduced fat options are purchased.
*High in saturated fat.
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Can Eating Ice Cream Raise Your Bp
“Ice cream can contain higher amounts of sodium than people may realize,” says Benjamin J. Hirsh, MD, director of Preventive Cardiology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, New York. Taking in high amounts of sodium increases blood pressure, so ice cream can contribute to hypertension.
However, another thing you should focus on with ice cream is sugar, Dr. Hirsh says. Processed sugar, including the sugars in ice cream, may contribute to weight gain. Most ice cream also falls under the category of processed foods, which are linked to inflammation and other health concerns, Dr. Hirsh says.
“But we cannot be too hard on ourselves,” he says. “‘Diet’ derives from ‘dieta,’ which means ‘a way of life.’ As long as your primary focus is to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other nutrient-healthy and non-processed foods, you can have the occasional ice cream.” In other words, moderation is key.
Dangers Of High Blood Pressure Medication
Exercising and having a normal weight can lower blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic, but many patients wishing to lower their high blood pressure, or hypertension, have turned to drugs for help 1. The alternatives are numerous. For example, diuretics, alpha and beta blockers, ACE Inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and blood vessel dilators are used to lower the blood pressure. Some of these have been linked with serious risks for such conditions as different types of cancers, heart attack, liver damage and stroke. Side effects of these medicines are also commonly reported.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Heart Attack And Stroke Risks
Not only are the short-acting calcium channel blockers been linked with cancer, but they have been shown to increase risk of death from a heart attack, says the National Institutes of Health, which also says they should be prescribed with caution. Statins were developed to reduce cholesterol levels, but are increasingly prescribed to lower blood pressure. ‘).
Are There Health Benefits From Chocolate
Every year, Americans spend $22 billion on chocolate, and it’s a safe bet that Valentine’s Day accounts for a decent percentage of that total. While a heart-shaped box of chocolates may seem like the opposite of healthy, experts say it’s less about the occasional small indulgence and more about making good everyday food choices.
Most chocolate falls into one of three categories: milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. Chocolate’s darkness is determined by the proportion of cocoa solids made from cocoa beans, mixed with cocoa butter and sugar.
Milk chocolate, the most popular type in America, typically contains about 10 percent cocoa liquor the paste made from ground, roasted, shelled and fermented cocoa beans that contains both nonfat cocoa solids and cocoa butter compared with a minimum of 35 percent found in dark chocolate. Shoppers can tell how much cocoa liquor is in a dark chocolate bar by looking for the “percent cacao” figure on the label. Cacao is the raw form of chocolate, while cocoa is the heated version of cacao.
White chocolate, however, contains only cocoa butter no cocoa solids combined with sugar and other ingredients.
A standard bar of dark chocolate with 70 percent to 85 percent cacao contains about 600 calories and 24 grams of sugar, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrient database. Milk chocolate contains roughly the same number of calories but twice the sugar.
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Potassium helps to release sodium from the body to lower blood pressure. Magnesium enables our tiny blood vessels to relax, helping to maintain elasticity and normal blood flow. And folate, a B-vitamin , acts like a heart-healthy soldier by helping to break down homocysteine, an amino acid that has the potential to damage inner artery walls.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
A cholesterol blood test gives important information about the amount and types of fats in the bloodstream. Types of fats include cholesterol and triglycerides.
Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in your body. Triglycerides are produced by your body and also come from the food you eat. When you eat, your body converts unused calories into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and are released for energy in between meals.
If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, this may lead to high levels of triglycerides. If the levels of triglycerides in your blood are too high, they can affect your blood cholesterol levels.
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Dark Chocolate And High Blood Pressure
Participants in the dark chocolate study got blood pressure tests and checkups at the study’s start, midpoint, and end.
By the end of the study, those eating dark chocolate lowered their systolic blood pressure by nearly three points and their diastolic blood pressure by almost two points, on average.
Systolic blood pressure is the first, or top, number in a blood pressure reading. Diastolic blood pressure is the second, or bottom, number in a blood pressure reading.
Blood pressure didn’t budge for better or worse in the white chocolate group.
Nine Foods That Help To Reduce High Blood Pressure
If you are one of the more than 75 million Americans with high blood pressure, you wont necessarily end up on medication. Lifestyle changes like what you eat make a big difference. Here are nine foods that have been proven to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health, according to clinical research. Bonus: they taste great!
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Exercise Eat Healthy Stay Slim Lower Your Stress
This to-do list is great for a healthy heart, but it may not sound like fun. Thank goodness, theres chocolate! Hundreds of studies have found that chocolatespecifically, dark chocolate keeps the heart and blood vessels in good shape. Here are some of the ways this delicious treat helps the heart:
Canned Tomatoes And Bottled Sauce
Making your own tomato sauce can take some time. Therefore, I can understand buying your own jar of it when preparing a meal after work. Although it doesnt taste as good as homemade, convenience and speed will frequently make bottled sauce your first choice.
One serving of bottle tomato sauce has about 480 mg of sodium. Depending on your choice, canned tomatoes can have almost the same. After adding cheese and bread to your meal, the sodium level in one meal exceeds what you should consume in one day.
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Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
Polyphenols Help Blood Pressure
Current guidelines call for people with high blood pressure to eat a dietrich in fruits and vegetables, which are also high in polyphenols. Thesecompounds are thought to contribute to their beneficial effects on protectingagainst heart disease and high blood pressure.
But researchers say there are no current recommendations for people at riskfor high blood pressure or heart disease to include polyphenol-rich cocoa andtea products in their diet, despite the fact that tea and cocoa productsaccount for the bulk of people’s total intake of polyphenols in Westerncountries.
In their review, researchers reviewed the effects of cocoa-rich products,such as dark chocolate or specially formulated polyphenol-rich milk chocolate,and blood pressure in five studies, which totaled 173 participants and lastedon average two weeks.
They also reviewed black and green tea and blood pressure in five differentstudies that totaled 343 participants and lasted on average four weeks. Allstudies were published between 1966 and 2006.
The results showed four of the five cocoa studies reported a reduction inboth systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The reduction was anaverage of 4.7 points systolic and 2.8 points diastolic.
Researchers say those effects are similar to those found using one-drugtherapy with common blood pressure-lowering medications such as beta-blockersand ACE inhibitors.
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Here is a less obvious no-no. It is low in calories and a way to add vegetables to a bratwurst, but it also has over 460 mg of sodium in one serving.
Go without the condiment on your hot dog. Better yet, don’t get a hot dog either since it’s a processed meat containing nitrates and frequently high in sodium. Maybe then it would eliminate the sauerkraut-eating opportunity — maybe.
8. Ramen Noodles
Ramen noodles, cup noodles or any another pre-packaged noodle meal is popular among college students and lazy adults but highly damaging to your body.
One package of generic ramen noodles contains 14 grams of fat and a whopping 1,580 mg of sodium. The tiny flavor packet that comes with it is the major culprit, containing most of the sodium.
Everybody loves happy hour, but alcohol consumption actively causes blood pressure to elevate. It also damages the walls of the blood vessels while simultaneously increasing risks of further complications, making it a horrible choice for adults with high blood pressure.
Don’t do it. Beer bellies aren’t cute.
To be quite frank, bacon is mostly fat. Three slices have 4.5 grams of fat and about 270 mg of sodium, and most people eat way more than that at breakfast or in those B.L.T. sandwiches.
It’s tough being a meat lover these days, isn’t it?
4. Frozen Pot Pies
Clear out your freezer and say no to pre-packaged frozen meals.
3. Whole Milk
Data Extraction And Quality Assessment
Data were abstracted and quality was assessed independently by two investigators using guidelines published by the Cochrane Collaboration . Any disagreement was resolved by discussion between the authors in consultation with the statistician . Characteristics of trials included in the meta-regression analysis are shown in Table . We assessed quality on the basis of randomisation, blinding, whether blood pressure was a primary outcome measure, loss to follow-up, funding source and whether compliance and dietary chocolate intake had been assessed, as these could have influenced findings . No trial was excluded in the meta-analysis on grounds of quality however, higher-quality trials were compared with lower-quality trials by meta-regression analysis.
Table 1 Characteristics of trials included in the meta-analysis
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Summary Of Included Studies
A total of 18 publications including 21 trial arms were assessed in detail for inclusion . Fifteen trial arms reported in 13 publications met the inclusion criteria . Six trial arms were excluded because 1) the same population and protocol were used in compared with 2) the comparison group received other vasoactive substances rather than placebos as a) chocolate ± plant sterols , b) tomato extract in phase 2 of trial , or c) half dose of chocolate 3) mean SBP/DBP and SD were not reported and could not be obtained from the authors and 4) the trial was of 1-day duration .
The 15 trial arms included in our meta-analysis were adequately randomised double-blinding was achieved in five trial arms using low-flavanol-containing products as control . All but three trial arms assessed blood pressure as the primary outcome measure, and 12 of the 15 trial arms had a participant attrition of less than 20% .
Eight trial arms used a parallel study design , and seven study arms used a crossover design . All but two of the seven crossover trials incorporated a washout period of 7 days between the alternate treatment period. In eight trials the intervention period was 2 weeks , while longer intervention periods were trialled in seven studies . Eight trials employed a 7-day run-in period before commencing with the treatments .