Nutrition is important for our growth and development, and it may be a simple and efficient way to combat hypertension and other chronic conditions.
Every day, the foods we eat have an impact on our health and how we feel. Protein, along with fat and carbohydrates, is considered one of the three fundamental macro nutrients required for a balanced lifestyle.
High blood pressure affects about half of the population in the United States, and it is one of the primary causes of cardiovascular disease. It’s a key contributory factor to heart attack, stroke, and other health problems if left untreated.
From 1997 to 2015, researchers from the National Clinical Research Center University in Guangzhou evaluated 12,177 Chinese citizens who took part in at least two of the seven rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. The goal of the study was to learn more about the link between high blood pressure risk and protein intake from a range of sources. The participants’ initial survey was utilized as a baseline, and data from their last round was used as a follow-up for comparison, according to the study authors. During each round of the survey, a professional interviewer obtained 24-hour dietary information across three days in the same week.
Participants were assigned a protein “variety score” based on the number of different protein sources ingested out of a possible eight. Each source of protein received one point, with a maximum variety score of eight. The researchers then looked at the link between the protein variety score and new onset hypertension. SYSTOLIC (top number) blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg, taking blood pressure-lowering medicine, or self-reporting that a physician diagnosed high blood pressure since their last survey visit were all considered new-onset hypertension. The average time it took to follow up was six years.
The analysis found:
- During follow-up, more than 35% of the almost 12,177 patients acquired new-onset high hypertension, according to the findings.
Participants with the highest variety score (4 or higher) had a 66 percent decreased chance of developing high blood pressure than those with the lowest variety score (less than 2).
- There was a window of consumption amount for each of the eight protein categories where the risk of hypertension was decreased. This is referred to as the “appropriate degree of consumption” by researchers.
- When considering total protein consumption, the amount ingested was classified into five groups, ranging from the least to the greatest.
- Those who ate the least total protein and those who ate the most protein had the highest risk of developing hypertension for the first time.
The message is that eating a well-balanced diet that includes proteins from a variety of sources rather than relying on a particular source of dietary protein may assist to prevent the development of high blood pressure, Qin added.
The study’s observational design is one of its flaws. Researchers were unable to definitely verify that protein intake of any kind or quantity caused or avoided new-onset hypertension since they relied on prior health data.