Can carbs increase blood pressure?


According to the Center for Disease Control one in three adults in the United States and over 30% of the population in Australia suffer from hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure dramatically increase risk of heart disease, stroke and shortens lifespan. With statistics like that chances are someone close to you is affected.


Dave Manby was a high blood pressure candidate until he shifted over 20kgs.

Hypertension, defined as having a blood pressure greater than 120/80 significantly increases risk for chronic kidney disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease and is the leading risk factor for death worldwide.

Most recommendations  involve becoming physically active and losing weight while nutritional therapy is usually confined to decreasing sodium intake and avoiding caffeine products. But is this the best approach?

Interestingly enough, the composition of our diets the macronutrient profile and the quality of the nutrients we eat may have more to do with this hypertension dilemma than most give it credit for.

Several studies have shown that diets high in carbohydrates resulted in higher diastolic and systolic blood pressures than did diets higher in monounsaturated fats (1,2). Yet another study found similar reductions in blood pressure when carbohydrates in the diet were replaced with animal proteins (3).

Could it be that easy? Could changing our carbohydrate intake really have that much of an effect?

The answer is yes.

In fact a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials concluded that replacing carbohydrates with protein- from either plant or animal sources- reduced blood pressure significantly and went as far as to say that replacing some dietary carbohydrate with protein may be an effective approach for the prevention and treatment of hypertension (4).

Does this mean that these benefits only occur from removing carbohydrate from our diet?

Often reading studies that highlight the negative impact that carbohydrate consumption may have on specific health markers we eagerly jump to the conclusion that removal of carbohydrate from our diet is necessary.

Providing nutrients when they are used best is one of the best kept secrets of health - Consume high-energy carbohydrates close to exercise to refuel and replenish worked muscles.

Fortunately that is not the case. Modification of the types of carbohydrates that we consume is often the best and most effective approach.

Providing nutrients to your body when they are used best is one of the best kept secrets of health.

Exercise changes the hormonal environment in your body resulting in more favorable utilization of high energy carbohydrates and dramatically reducing any negative impact they could have on health or health markers.

Consume high-energy carbohydrates close to exercise to refuel and replenish worked muscles. Make sure the rest of your day is filled with lower-energy choices. 

Food choices impact your health every day. So, which carbs lower blood pressure? All you need to do is Dine by color!

No items found.

1. Shah M, Adams-Huet B, Garg A. Effect of high-carbohydrate or high-cis-monounsaturated fat diets on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of intervention trials1,2,3. Am J Clin Nutr, May 2007; 85: 1251 – 1256
2. Rasmussen O, Thomsen C, Hansen K, Vesterlund M, Winther E, Hermansen K. Effects on Blood Pressure, Glucose, and Lipid Levels of High-Monounsalurated Fat Diet Compared With a High-Carbohydrate Diet in NIDDM Subjects. Diabetes Care, Dec 1993; 16: 1565 – 1571
3. Hodgson J, Burke V, Beilin L, Puddey I. Partial substitution of carbohydrate intake with protein intake from lean red meat lowers blood pressure in hypertensive persons. Am J Clin Nutr, Apr 2006; 83: 780 – 787.
4. Rebholz C, Friedman E, Powers L, Arroyave W, He J, Kelly T. Dietary Protein Intake and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am. J. Epidemiol., Oct 2012; 176: S27 - S43.

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