Saturday, January 4, 2014

Eating and Blood Pressure

Good morning! I am feeling pretty good today. I've been reading a book called The High Blood Pressure Solution and what really struck me (and I don't even know if this is the take-away message of the book, since I haven't read it all yet) is that when scientists studied various primitive, aboriginal, tribal, and modern diets in different places, the cultures that eat the most vegetables and fruits have the least number of people with high blood pressure, *regardless* of whether they also eat meat or grains or dairy or even salt. What I think the point of the book is, so far, is that certain vitamins and minerals abundant in plant foods are critical to a healthy blood pressure. They focus on potassium in particular. Well, I think they have a point there. And it made me think about *when* I actually felt the best physically over the course of my life.

When I was eating Atkins-style (lots of meat and fat, limited veggies, no fruits, very low carb at 20g/day) I felt sluggish and lousy.

When I was eating South Beach style (still plenty of meat but leaner cuts, less fat, more vegetables, moderate carb) I felt great! I had wonderful energy. First few days were hard, then better.

When I was eating Medifast (packets of whey or soy protein 'meals' with vitamins added, some meat, 3 servings of veggies, moderate/low carb at 85 g/day) I felt good as the weight came off but struggled with energy. I did feel awful for the first few days going back on plan but then felt better.

When I was eating Primal (no grains, no sugar, plenty of meat, high fat, lowish carbs at 60/day or so) I felt like crap for 3 weeks, had a constant headache and developed stomach pains. Felt better when I added beans.

When I ate a produce based diet when I started this blog, counting calories, eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, meats, beans, but still some processed foods, I felt very good.

You know, I think really, the big key to health for me is eating a lot of vegetables and some fruit and avoiding the junk. All the other stuff... whether or not to eat legumes, whether to avoid dairy, whether or not to eat wheat and/or grains, how much meat to eat... is secondary to that. Notice I said health. Obviously *just* going whole foods/produce based hasn't been enough over the long haul. And while this might all be nothing new, maybe I have gotten so wrapped up in carbs over the past 3 years that I lost focus on the really big picture.

That's all I have to say about that for now.

Whole foods eaten yesterday:
yellow squash
canned salmon

Processed foods eaten yesterday:
2 Medifast meals
unsweetened almond milk
black coffee (is this a whole food?)
1/2 c sugar free frozen yogurt

Whole foods eaten so far today:

Processed foods eaten so far today:
coffee with 1 Tbsp sugar free creamer (hard to give this up again, working on it)

*edited to add: for dinner tonight I made a stew by simmering a steak in beef bone broth until tender, cubing it and adding it back with sliced carrots, celery, onions, garlic, seasonings, and mushrooms. Had a bowl of that and a small baked potato with a pat of grass fed butter and a spoon of sour cream.

Foot pain on a scale of 1 to 10
day before yesterday: 7
yesterday: 9.5
today: 5

Staying off the sugar and the grains.

Have a great weekend!


Sharon said...

Just FYI, there is a video ad (continuously playing loop) on the left side of your page that is basically animated soft porn. Probably not what you want on your page.

Lyn said...

Thanks sharon, I haven't seen it but am trying to find out what it is to block it. If any of you can tell me the name of the product/company that would help... and then I will delete your comment about it. Thanks.

timothy said...

I don't see any porn just lots of diet adds but anyway I think for you eating lots of veggies is a must so that's probably your body type.i just read an article about the food pyramid being a lie from one of the nutritionists who made it. the government revamped it after input by the food companies. fruits and veggies were the base and anything made with refined grains was to be only 1 serving a day max. I'm sure you can google it, if not let me know and i'll try to remember where I read it.

Primal Gwen said...

Well, Primal includes a lot of veggies with the high protein. Rather limited fruit. No grains, sugar, or processed foods. So if your experience with primal,was mostly meat/high protein...that wasn't really Primal. I'm just sayin... NAND I see no porn,must ads for companies I've already used in the it's tied to my own viewing history...

Anonymous said...

The last time I was at my PCP told me that the single major contributor to high blood pressure was exercise...not salt, not weight. And this comes from a man who has always been thin to the point of being scrawny--and proud of it.

The exercise that he says does the most good? Long walks. Not jogs, not speed walking...just a steady, determined pace. Every day. A mile if you can do it.

lisa~sunshine said...

I agree with Deb... that walking helps this.. and Leslie Sansone offers that Heart healthy walk which you can go on her walk at home website and look under Walk Social.. and get free videos to walk at home.. Nothing better than this when the weather is so cold and snowy..
I also don't see this porn.. Every time I come to your blog.. I only see things advertised that I have looked at before.. or searched..

Susan said...


Sharon said...

Hi Lyn,

I think it was for a video game (or something) called League of Dreams? Basically a cartoon lady in a bikini stripping. When I refreshed the page it went away and was replaced by a diet ad.

Just wanted you to know :)

Anonymous said...

The old Weight Watchers diet I am now trying has unlimited vegetables (on a list of non carby vegetables), limited amounts of other vegetables ( but required) and requires 3 fruits a day, 2 slices of bread and 1 cup of milk.

I thought there was no way I could eat the bread and fruit and drink the milk but I'm doing it and I feel great!

I agree, it must be the fruits and vegetables. I make smoothies out of the fruit and milk or yogurt and it actually feels like I'm cheating or something. Have to accept it and try it awhile I guess.

Jami Stakley said...

I visit your website multiple times a day and I have not seen any inappropriate adds. I think we can all agree that more servings of vegetables are a good thing and cutting refined sugar. I avoid wheat only because it makes me have a ravenous hunger.