Veggie Protein Lowers Blood Pressure

New findings in the journal Circulation reveal glutamic acid—a protein found in vegetables—reduces average systolic blood pressure by 1.5 to 3 points and diastolic pressure by 1 to 1.6 points.

The drop may seem teeny tiny, but overall it may lower death rates from stroke by 6% and heart disease related deaths by 4%.

Vegetable protein is 23% glutamic acid, while meat protein is only 18% glutamic acid.

However, researchers insist improving blood pressure does not come down to one single nutrient and urge people eat their vegetables, avoid fatty foods and not drink a lot of alcohol.

Now, you probably know this by now, but cutting salt is a major way to lower blood pressure. In March, a study discovered salt decreases an important blood pressure-lowering enzyme, which signals blood vessels to relax. Eek!

Via HealthDay News.

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Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

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Breakfast Cereal Raises Blood Sugar, Heart Risks

Put the cornflakes down! New findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claim high-glycemic foods spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels. Subjects fed cornflakes, glucose and high-fiber cereal had impaired the endothelial function—the cells that line the inside of blood vessels—compared to people given oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Poor endothelial function is believed to increase the risk of heart disease; Health Day News reports.

Breakfast cereal and white bread are processed foods, i.e. empty carbohydrates with no nutrition. Even “whole wheat” bread is a scam. Dr. Fuhrman says caramel color is added to give it the appearance of whole wheat. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are packed with healthful fiber and nutrients.

In April, a study showed overweight Latino teenagers switching to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet had less risk of type-2 diabetes and experienced substantial drops in blood glucose levels.

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Spacemen Need to Exercise Harder to Stay Fit in Space

Life for little green men isn’t easy. New findings in The Journal of Applied Physiology reveal astronauts floating around in space need tougher workouts. Typically, astronauts spend six months on an International Space Station and during this time, despite regular exercise, crew members can lose 15% muscle mass and 20% to 30% of muscle performance. Experts say by clinical standards this is a major loss of muscle, prompting them to recommend a balance of high-intensity resistance and aerobic exercise, in order to protect against the effects of a microgravity environment; Newswise reports.

If you’re zipping around in space or just sitting on the couch, exercise is important. According to Dr. Fuhrman staying physically active not only keeps you fit and trim, but improves your psychological function, by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. And resistance training is very important, in both men and for women it helps bolster bone density, which staves off osteoporosis and bone breaks.

In related news, all exercise, whether you are pumping iron or running cross-country, is helpful after a heart attack, increasing the amount blood vessels widen to allow for greater blood flow.

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Ha Ha! Atkins Diet Raises Heart Risks, Duh!

More bad news for the Atkins fad, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association new research reveals the high-protein, i.e. high-saturated, Atkins diet reduces blood vessel dilation, an important factor in heart health. Scientists placed 18 healthy people on three different diets, the Atkins diet (50% fat) and two others lower in saturated fat, 30% and 10%. Four weeks after completing the experiment, Atkins participants performed the worst on a blood vessel test. Atkins Nutritionals had no intelligent rebuttal; HealthDay News reports.

High-fat diets are dangerous. A couple years ago, a study linked the Atkins diet with inflammation linked with heart and artery disease. Atkins himself was overweight and had heart problems. In addition to heart problems, consuming copious amounts of meat, i.e. saturated fat, and little to no fiber and fruit, heightens risk of colon cancer and other cancers. Recently, hotdogs were tied to leukemia risk and red meat with blindness.

In related news, a previous report showed low-carb high-protein diets sap people’s energy and discourage activity and another study revealed Atkins produced only modest weight-loss results with limited sustainability in the long run. Tisk, tisk.

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Have Fewer Heart Attacks. Just Cut Salt a Little.

Salt is in everything! We all know that. And now a new study highlighted at the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference claims cutting salt just a little, only 1 gram, could result in 250,000 fewer new cases of heart disease. Experts say Americans consume 50% more salt than we did 40 years ago, between 9 to 12 grams of salt a day, most of it coming from processed food. Their research model determined 800,000 "life years" could be saved for every gram of salt eliminated from our diets; HealthDay News reports.

And here’s a pair of coincidental studies. Presented at the American Heart Association's Conference of the Council High Blood Pressure Research, scientists reported that cutting salt can help control high-blood pressure. Then in February research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a low-salt diet lowers systolic blood pressure and improves the ability of blood vessels to widen.

In related news, earlier research revealed people with metabolic syndrome have increased sensitivity to salt and higher blood pressure and a British study determined individuals who lowered salt intake were 25% less likely to develop heart disease. Long story short, don’t eat salt. Uh, duh!

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Abnormal Heart Rhythm Increases Death-Risk in Diabetics

The new study published in the European Heart Journal involved 11,140 participants with type-2 diabetes. Data at the beginning of the study claims risk of death due to atrial fibrillation, i.e. irregular heart heat, was 61%. The risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke was 77% and 68% for heart failure. However, researchers determined these risks could be lowered if doctors prescribed aggressive treatments to diabetic patients with atrial fibrillation, in this case blood pressure-lowering drugs; via HealthDay News.

Relax, drugs aren’t the only option. Superior nutrition, i.e. lots of fruits and vegetables, has amazing cardio-protective effects, like rejuvenating blood vessels. High-nutrient diets are more effective than drugs at reserving heart disease and preventing diabetes.

In related news, studies have linked diabetes with heightened risk Alzheimer's disease, zinc, a nutrient found in peas, broccoli and kale, lowers the risk of diabetes in women and now the U.S. has 3 million more people with diabetes than in 2005. Eek!

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Salt Worse for People with Metabolic Syndrome

According to a new study in The Lancet salt may be more harmful for patients with metabolic syndrome, a major predicator of heart disease and type-2 diabetes, increasing risk of high blood pressure. Researchers examined over 1,900 Chinese people, ages 16 and up, they were fed either a high or low-sodium diet for 7 days and their blood pressure was checked regularly. Results showed participants with metabolic syndrome were more likely to be sensitive salt and had higher blood pressure; HealthDay News reports.

Salt gets a bad rap. But it’s warranted. A recent report found reducing salt helps lower systolic blood pressure by helping blood vessels relax. And in September, experts at American Heart Association claimed cutting salt helps control high blood pressure. Salt also contributes to heart disease and stroke.

As for metabolic syndrome, previous studies show red meat increases the risk of metabolic syndrome but eating some mixed nuts everyday lowers risk by 13.7%. Nutty!

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