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Salt, High Blood Pressure
Sugar, High Blood Pressure
Trans Fatty Acids and
High Triglycerides =
Good Fats and Harmful Fats
Free Radicals and
Food Cautions for
Fiber – A Key to Lowering
Eat more, eat less
Diet, Digestion and
Alkaline Diet to Prevent
Heart Disease and
Fiber – A Key to Lowering Cholesterol and Controlling Diabetes
Eating whole foods with fiber can decrease the incidence of diseases of the colon and cardiovascular system, as well as diabetes and obesity. Research demonstrates that the amount of fiber you eat affects blood pressure. A study involving 30,000 men was designed to determine how dietary fiber affects blood pressure levels. The results indicated that there is a 60% greater risk of developing high blood pressure for people who eat less than 12 grams of fiber per day compared with those who eat 12 grams or more of fiber daily.361 A overview of the literature, published in Diabetes Care 1991, supports findings that 40 g fiber/day, improves glycemic control, reduces levels of serum atherogenic lipids, decreases blood pressure in those with hypertension, and reduces body weight in the obese.362 Fiber can be a delicious addition to your diet. Fiber helps you to lose weight, which lowers blood pressure.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, February 1996, demonstrates that fiber plays an important role in the prevention of coronary artery disease. The more fiber subjects consumed the lower their risk of heart attack. Fiber intake is a more important factor than fat intake.
Grapefruit fiber has shown to be a super cure for cholesterol, in some cases reducing it by 100 points in thirty days! There is a special grapefruit fiber mixture, consisting of a unique form of pectin, which is water-soluble and obtained from the rinds, membranes, and juice sacs of the fruit. It is then combined with guar gum, another fiber, and made into a yellow tasteless powder. This powder can be sprinkled on foods or mixed in drinks. Scientists believe this fiber creates an ultra-thin layer of water in the intestinal tract that hinders the absorption of cholesterol. In addition, grapefruit fiber produces chemicals that suppress the liver’s production of artery-clogging cholesterol. Grapefruit fiber protects your arteries in two ways. It can prevent a clog from ever occurring, and unclog existing plaque. For more information see Chapter Ten.
Fiber is essential for diabetic patients to control glucose. It causes glucose to be released more slowly from the small intestines into your blood stream. Fiber holds nutrients in the intestinal tract, thus slowing the absorption rate, and reducing “up and down” blood sugar levels. An increase of fiber was very useful in lowering plasma glucose in a majority of diabetic patients in a random order diet study. Eight insulin-dependent diabetes patients consuming either 20 grams or 3 grams of fiber per day were studied for 10 days. All other aspects of diet were kept constant, including insulin dosage. Mean plasma glucose level for the low fiber diet was 169.4 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, plus or minus 11.7. Mean plasma glucose level for the high fiber intake group was 120.8 plus or minus 10.1.364 This suggests that increasing dietary fiber can decrease your need of insulin units.
Eight of thirteen patients in a study of diabetic men were insulin dependent, and the other five used oral drugs. The results of specific dietary changes were incredible. These patients were on a diet of 75% carbohydrate calories, 9% fat calories, and 14.2 grams of crude fiber. After only two weeks, four of the eight patients requiring insulin injections and all five on oral medication were insulin-free. James W. Anderson, M.D. and his colleagues at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lexington, KY conducted this study.
Julian Whitaker M.D. recommends a diet that contains 70% to 80% complex carbohydrates, 10% to 15% fat calories, caloric intake of protein between 10% to 15%, and dietary fiber between 30 and 40 grams daily. For more information on diet and insulin sensitivity please see the book Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Whitaker. The Life Extension Foundation (www.lef.org) web site also suggests the following specific dietary considerations for diabetics:
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Fiber is found in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as beans and grains, but not in animal products. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. By helping to prevent constipation, these foods can relieve straining and venous problems in the legs as well as hemorrhoids. Insoluble fiber decreases the time it takes for food to pass through your digestive tract, providing a feeling of fullness, and helps you lose weight. This feature helps rid the body of yeast infections, and removes wastes quickly from the intestine. This helps prevent colon cancer, and it may aid in preventing many cancers – the fewer toxins in the body, the stronger the immune system.
Here are some food sources of insoluble fiber: bananas, broccoli, brown rice, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, corn, flax seeds, lentils, pasta, potatoes, spinach, wheat bran cereal, corn bran, wheat germ, wholewheat bread, and whole-wheat crackers. Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of fiber – they have 15 grams of fiber in just 3 tablespoons, which is more than anything else has.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Soluble fiber prevents cardiovascular disease by lowering the level of fat and cholesterol in the blood, and purifies blood toxins. Soluble fiber attaches to and removes excess bile acids, which are produced by the liver to aid in the digestive process. This clears the digestive tract of excess bile acids. The removal of these acids helps slow the development of micelles, which allow absorption of cholesterol and other lipids into the bloodstream.
Therefore, the fewer micelles, the less cholesterol and digested sugar gets into the bloodstream. After eating soluble fiber, serum glucose levels are reduced, which in turn decreases serum insulin levels. This breaks the cycle of raising blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, making it easier to lose weight. Muscle sensitivity to insulin is increased so less insulin is needed to get the job done. Eating soluble fiber decreases the liver’s production of fat and slows the rate of fat absorption. Soluble fiber contributes to cardiovascular health by lowering the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, especially LDL cholesterol. This reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke.
One study showed that a diet high in soluble fiber reduces cholesterol by 24%. Eating more soluble fiber reduces the impact of cholesterol on your arteries. Oat bran seems to be one of the most beneficial sources because it has a high concentration of beta-glucan. A 10% drop in cholesterol can significantly reduce your chances of a heart attack.368 Raw in granola or cooked, oats consumed daily can help lower cholesterol. They contain beta-glucan, a spongy, soluble fiber that mops up the cholesterol precursors in the intestines and escorts them out of your body. Evidence suggests that oats may also help lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
A constant reminder throughout this book for you is to buy organic whole foods. Processed high-fiber foods are sales gimmicks more than health products. Many of these foods may contain hydrogenated oils that are trans-fatty acids, and refined sugar, which increases triglycerides and cholesterol. I also advise you to not eat synthetic foods and oils that are “fat free” and hailed as substitutes for fat. They bind to the receptor sites that are needed to absorb healthy oils like vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. By binding to receptor sites, synthetic oils inhibit your body from getting what it really needs.
Some sources of soluble fiber are: apples, apricots, barley, berries, cabbage, carrots, celery, chickpeas, grapefruit, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, nectarines, oat bran, oatmeal, okra, oranges, peaches, peas, pinto beans, rice bran, split peas, sweet potatoes, tangerines, turnips, and zucchini.
In general eat some fruit, and lots of vegetables, peas, beans, wheat germ, flax seeds (discussed in detail later in this chapter), whole-wheat products, and psyllium and oat bran to get your fiber. Psyllium comes from the husk of the psyllium seed, a food grown primarily in India. The FDA has approved claims that foods containing soluble fiber reduce the risk of heart disease. Approval means that the FDA acknowledges a nutrient-disease relationship.
All this new research on the relationship between food and health would not be needed if we just ate ample portions of organic fruits, vegetables, and whole foods.
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