heart
Arterial Disease

Some Topics

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High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure is one expression of a disease-complex caused by the wrong diet and unhealthy lifestyle. For years, excessive sodium salt was associated with hypertension and low sodium diets were recommended to all sufferers. According to the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, non-drug strategies should be the priority for hypertension control. Smoking cessation, low fat diet, weight loss, exercise, reduced alcoholic beverage consumption and increased potassium, calcium and magnesium intake with decreased sodium are the important steps to avoid the problem of high blood pressure. A vegetarian diet is favorable for anyone with high blood pressure and other manifestations of cardiovascular disease.

In the US, 50 million people are thought to have have high blood pressure; about half are receiving treatment and half of the treated are successful at reducing their blood pressure to below 140/90. This leaves about 37 million people in the US with persisting hypertension. The incidence of high blood pressure rises with age; more common in men under 50, but more common in women over age 65. Over age 70, the incidence approaches 2/3s of the population. In Canada 57% of the estimated 4 million people with hypertension are treated by a physician but the overall success of this effort is in doubt.



Essential Hypertension

Hypertension is divided into two groups - primary or essential hypertension and secondary to a specific disease. Diseases of the kidney and blocked kidney arteries, for example, can produce high blood pressure as a secondary effect. No specific cause is found in 90% of hypertensives. One explanation is that the population at risk is becoming more sedentary with an increase in obesity. Their food supply is clearly suspect and it is not just the fat in the diet. These arterial problems with different and complex origins link to the diets and lifestyle popular in Europe and North America and occur less often among physically active, vegetable-eating populations who seldom eat dairy products, meat, and other high-protein-fat foods.

Some concerns about BP diagnosis and treatment

  1. BP readings may be inaccurate
  2. BP readings obtained in the doctor's office do not reflect BP levels at home, work and play.
  3. Many readings are required to obtain a meaningful sample
  4. Corrective action taken may be inappropriate or inadequate
  5. The causes of the disease are not removed; only symptoms are treated.

Drugs

A large number of drugs and drug combinations have appeared for the treatment arterial disease. The battle for market share is fought among the drug producers with double blind controlled studies that compare drugs to placebo and drugs to one another. The studies are designed to provide favorable news thru press releases to doctors and their patients. The drug industry prefers that medical doctors only think in terms of drug therapy and the producers aggressively market their newest and most expensive drugs. Smart patients prefer to change their diet, lose weight and exercise, rather than become drug users.

Listen to a Description of High Blood Pressure

Listen to a Discussion of Blood Pressure Readings

The Solution Diet Revision

The 50 million Americans and 4 million Canadians who have high blood pressure and arterial disease should seek the benefits of complete diet revision therapy! To improve the health of modern citizens and to reduce, at the same time, the increasing costs of health-care, self-responsibility for disease-prevention is required. Each person will have to alter disease-causing habits, change poor eating habits, stop smoking and drinking, and become more physically active. We have no difficulty in recommending aggressive diet revision, vigorous enough to prevent vascular disasters. Imagine that you live in a little cottage by the sea, think quiet thoughts, walk everywhere, tend your organic vegetable garden, cultivate fruit trees (never sprayed) and go fishing once or twice per week. Now you have a perfect setting and a perfect diet for enduring good health.

Current recommendations for fat intake are shrinking progressively from 35% of total calories to 20%; for people with high risk of heart disease, fat intake should go below 10% of daily calories. Typical American diets contain as much as 37% fat, an extravagant surplus. A total of 15-25 grams of fat per day supplies our needs. The minimum requirements are 1-2% of total calories for adults and 3% for infants. Sodium restraint is considered a primary strategy of reducing high blood pressure. Increased intake of calcium and potassium may lower high blood pressure and extra potassium may protect against stroke-associated death. North American diets tend to offer sodium levels 10 times higher than actual need (minimum of 1100 mg/day, adults). Average consumption of sodium salt is over 10 grams/day. The proper ratio of Sodium to Potassium is not obvious. Most diets have sodium disproportion, tending toward sodium excess of 3-10 parts Sodium to 1 Potassium. The foods in Phase 1 and 2 of the Alpha Nutrition Program automatically improve the sodium/potassium ratio and increase intake of magnesium.


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