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What is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that supports the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole-grain foods and prohibits the consumption of animal products. Such a lifestyle has proven to be effective in losing and managing weight.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known to be a “silent killer” as signs and symptoms are often not noticeable early on, which can be harmful to the body. Hypertension is a long-term medical condition in which the arterial pressure is persistently elevated.

In 2010, the Global Burden of Disease published a study that ranked hypertension as the primary risk factor for death and disability-adjusted lives.

In the United States, approximately 80 million people aged 20 years and older are found to be hypertensive. The condition seems to be worsening every year as the recent findings indicated that the number of deaths due to hypertension has increased about 35% in the past decade.

Unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices are the major causes of this alarming condition. This circumstance has led to more and more people seeking for a more balanced and healthier means of living that could help them manage and reduce their blood pressure.

Are vegan diets helpful in lowering blood pressure?

One of the most beneficial changes that have proven to work wonders in managing this condition is swapping to a plant-based diet.

According to a study published in the JAMA journal of internal medicine by Harvard Health; “people who follow vegan diets tend to have a lower blood pressure than the people who don’t.”

This was an observational study of people who chose their diets. People who abide by a vegan lifestyle have a systolic blood pressure almost 4.8 mmHg lower than non-vegans. This reduced systolic pressure can have life-altering results as this reduces the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease by 14 and 9 percent respectively.

Why do vegans have lower blood pressure?

Vegans generally have a lower BMI and reduced risk of obesity as most vegan diets have high fiber and low-fat content, the resulting control in weight gain has been linked to reduced blood pressure.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) stated that potassium is one of the

shortfall nutrients which is under-consumed in the United States. Potassium has the potential to reduce the risk of hypertension, and studies suggest that vegetarian diets tend to have higher potassium and lower sodium content.

Another characteristic associated with reduced blood pressure is that vegan diets have a higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lower content of saturated fatty acids compared to their omnivorous counterparts.

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