This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in April of 2018. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8mHxRfevY4&t=644s.
Bob: Number one food that causes high blood pressure plus we're going to give you the new guidelines for blood pressure that were I think were established in 2017, Brad.
Brad: Yeah, I'm really happy you brought this up because this is something I'm interested in
and I think everyone is.
Bob: It's a little controversial.
Brad: Right, over the age of 40 you're probably thinking about this.
Bob: Yeah, so we're going to present both sides. We're going to keep you hanging a little bit here Brad you know we're not going to tell you the food quite yet. We're going to first talk about why blood pressure is a problem, a third of people in the United States have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage your eyes. It can damage, obviously your arteries even causing strokes and heart attacks. It can thicken the heart wall because your heart is working harder and that can cause problems, and it can damage your kidneys. So you know it's not something you want to dismiss by any means. We'll talk about the guidelines and what could be a problem. Now if you want to measure your blood pressure we found an instrument here that actually works pretty good this is the blood pressure monitor by Nursal very simple to use. (Update: Bob and Brad have since come out with their own blood pressure monitor.) You want to make sure you got the right cuff size you want to make sure it's hooked up too by the way. If the cuff is too big for you or too small, it's not going to take an accurate measurement.
Brad: You want me to hold onto it?
Bob: Really all you need to know is that you can turn it on and you can turn it off.
There's the orange button. There's other things, you can keep track of different measurements for like you and me, you know go p1 p2, but right now I'm just keeping it simple. You can go ahead and read the instructions, but all you have to do is you take the cuff here, and there's a little round indicator. That's where you're supposed to put it over the brachial artery, the brachial artery is on the inside of the arm. So if you get close to that area you're generally pretty good.
Brad: Yeah you don't have to be exactly over it.
Bob: I'm going to line it up here, and then when this comes around you're not supposed to go back past the line, and it tells you all this in the instructions.
Brad: These are things no matter what manufacturer you get, you want to look and make sure that it's set up properly so you get an accurate reading.
Bob: You want to follow all the guidelines. For one thing, you want to make sure you've been resting for like five minutes. You don't cross your ankles.
Brad: You should be seated in a 90/90 position to be consistent.
Bob: Yeah, make sure you just didn't recently get done with exercise or eating even if you ate recently so all those things. I'm just going to go ahead and hit the on button and it's going to take a few seconds here to inflate the cuff.
Brad: Sit up nice and tall there Bob. I'm going to get picky on you.
Bob: What I did with this by the way is I took my blood pressure manually so I used a stethoscope and then I took it with this, and I found this was consistently a little bit lower. Okay, but in its defense anytime I have my blood pressure taken somewhere else it's always lower than when I take it. So it may be actually fairly accurate. The other thing is I took it many times with this and it was very consistent.
Brad: Right, that's a big thing.
Bob: Yeah. That's the big thing. You know you can compare it to maybe what the doctor says.
But this gave me the same numbers each time so my lower number's a little bit higher right now 121/82. Normally, I am lower than that. I'm sure I'm a little bit nervous.
Brad: Yeah well, we have millions of people watching right now.
Bob: Right, millions and billions. So anyway, the easy way to do it. We'll put a link below, I like this. It's a fairly inexpensive unit. It's a good way to monitor your blood pressure.
Brad: And again I used one of those once and I was consistently high for a few weeks and I went in and I found out that I was just fine. My monitor, my electric one was just reading high, but at least I knew I was fine.
Bob: So it was consistently high?
Bob: They'll even sometimes put a monitor on you for 24 hours because there's a lot of people that get that white coat syndrome, where they go on to see the doctor and their blood pressure gets high because they're nervous. And then one doctor mentioned even that they put a monitor on this one person and like one minute after they leave the office the blood pressure goes down. Then one minute before they went in there it went up, so it's just kind of interesting. Alright, let's get to the number one food, Brad. I think most people think it's salt and salt can be a problem. I know that some people try to downplay that, but I saw it with my wife. She was taken to eating this broth that had high salt and her blood pressure just went right up with the usage of the broth. But really, what some of the studies are showing now is that actually that refined carbohydrates, sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup. Which you find in everything. I mean a lot of processed food, look into your ingredients. This is really causing a lot higher incidence of diabetes, but it's also resulting in higher blood pressure. So that's the one thing, it's really not good for you. You really want to try to avoid it as much as you can you and again you're going to find it in some cereals.
Brad: Oh yeah, just look at any ingredients. You know the ingredients, I think most everyone knows is the first few ingredients that are the highest in concentration and you'll see that high fructose syrup is up in the top few ingredients in many products.
Bob: Yeah it was a less expensive way to manufacture food, and so it became very prevalent.
Brad: And it tastes good. You know it's sweet; people like it.
Bob: It tastes good. I'm telling you if you want to make one change to your diet, that would be it. We're going to name a couple other things that might be surprising to you. Another one is you have to watch your alcohol intake. For men they recommend not any more than two drinks a day and for women not more than one.
Brad: You know if you're going to have the big 44-ounce beers that wouldn't count as one.
Bob: That's a good point. They have size recommendation as to what counts as one drink. So if you get the wine glass that you can put a whole bottle in there and fill it to the top, that’s not one. The other one probably is not any surprise to anybody would be smoking, it's going to definitely raise blood pressure. So let's get to the guidelines here Brad. The guidelines that came out, what they consider normal now is 120/80. If you're below that, keep up the good work you're doing a good job. I'm just going to go by what they're recommending on this and then we'll talk about some of the opposing views of it. It's considered elevated if you're in the range from 120-129/80, so this is again systolic over diastolic. The one that I tend to find changes the most depending on what kind of stress you're under is the upper number, systolic. The lower number seems to be a little more stable, have you found that to be true or not Brad?
Brad: Yeah, I don't have any input on that.
Bob: Okay. High, now they have it broken down in stages. High stage one is if you are in the 130-139 for a systolic and 80-89 for diastolic. High stage two is 140 or higher over 90 or higher then you can be in that stage two. If you're in the elevated, you want to keep an eye on it, you're going to start monitoring to make sure it's not getting higher. If you're high stage one, this is when you want to maybe making some lifestyle change, getting rid of that high-fructose corn syrup. Maybe exercising more, sleeping more, getting stress out of your life, or you may want to start taking medications. At 140/90 they do recommend taking medications at that point. Then, 180/20 or higher is called a hypertensive crisis. And I've had patients that have been there.
Brad: Right. It's time to get that down.