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Sweet News for Heart Health

Sweet News for Heart Health

Potential to reduce medications naturally!

A study published in the journal Circulation, shares findings that those with resistant hypertension can move the needle on blood pressure numbers, even when 3 or more medications have been unable to do the trick.  How you ask?  Diet and exercise. 

It wasn’t just any diet though.  About half of the 140 participants were randomly assigned to follow the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) along with increased physical activity as part of a structured and closely supervised program.  Alternatively, the rest were provided with just a single counseling session and written instruction to implement this lifestyle on their own. 

After four months, one significant finding was that participants in the supervised program saw a 12-point drop in systolic blood pressure, compared to only 7 in the self-guided group.  Remember that systolic blood pressure (the top number) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Think of it as a measure of how much pressure is against the artery walls when the heart beats, pushing blood away from the heart and through the body.  The supervised group showed improved blood pressure and other key heart health indicators that suggest a lower risk of future heart events. 

These findings provide strong evidence that both diet and exercise are important lifestyle factors to include as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle – especially when medication alone is not successful in effectively managing blood pressure. 

Realistic goals to start your heart-healthy lifestyle include: 

-        Lose 5-10% body weight

-        Follow the DASH style diet

-        Aim for 7,000-10,000 steps a day; start by adding 1,000 from where you are today.  


Published February 1, 2023

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