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#1 Food That Causes High Blood Pressure

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in April of 2018. For the original video go to

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?

Brad: Right.

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.

Bob: Consult the doctor immediately. But now, having said all this, there was a kind of a rebuke of this, it was in JAMA, and if you're in the medical field you know that's a highly respected journal, by the University of Sydney and Bond University. They're saying these guidelines could be a little bit dangerous because what they're finding is that systolic blood pressure, which is the top one, has poor reproducibility. In other words, a lot of the monitors do not monitor it correctly. So you may be getting some numbers that are not really accurate and so you're going to make recommendations based upon inaccurate numbers. The other thing they're saying is that 80% of the people, if they were diagnosed as hypertensive under these guidelines, would get no benefits from going on the medicine. They'd be better off just not going on the medicine themselves.

Brad: So the medicine was not bringing the blood pressure down?

Bob: It would bring it down, but they're saying they didn't have any other risk factors and so they really didn't need to be on the medicine.

Brad: Okay, so with high blood pressure you look at more than just that number. The doctor should be looking at some other symptoms that the body may present with?

Bob: Yeah, exactly if you've got the high blood pressure, the doctor should be looking at the other risk factors that you have to say “Hey, you know you have a high blood pressure, but everything else looks fine, so maybe we really don't need to put you on medication.” And that's why you need to have your doctor involved on this. I'm just saying don't panic if you're in these numbers, go see your doctor and discuss it with them and say “Do I really need to be on medication or are there other choices? Do I really have risk factors?”

Brad: So yeah, I don't know if I should bring this up now Bob, but you know 30 to 40 years ago, I don't remember the date, but at one time 140/90 was considered normal.

Bob: Yep, I remember this, I actually remember those numbers being fine.

Brad: So, I don't know at that time were people dying left and right of heart attacks or having strokes? I don't know what the correlation is, but I actually had numbers around 140/90 when I was in my 20s late 20s and early 30s. I changed my lifestyle to bring them down. I didn't use any medication, I just basically did aerobic exercise, and that took care of it very nicely.

Bob: We're telling you not to panic here. That was one thing that this study was worried was that people are going to get in these stages where they should be treated and they're going to get depressed.

Brad: Or it can raise their anxiety level, which brings your blood pressure up even more.

Bob: That's exactly what they said Brad.

Brad: It compounds.

Bob: So they're saying for the majority of people who are at low risk and not recommended for drug treatment about 25 million, the doctors should not label them as hypertensive because again the doctors should support healthy choices. If you label them once with that they're going to say “I’m hypertensive” and like you said, they get anxious, they get depressed, and that causes all sorts of other issues.

Brad: It's just a snowball effect to make the person less healthy than they really need to be because they're not relaxed.

Bob: Yeah, so I think from the doctor standpoint what they're saying is to recommend the healthy choices, watch their blood pressure and you see what happens and if it gets better on its own obviously you didn't have to worry them in the first place.

Brad: Speaking about hypertensive, I just thought of something Bob, normally you're a lot taller than me, but now when I'm sitting and you're standing it’s even worse.

Bob: Quite a contrast I imagine. Remember Brad and I, you know we have to say it on this one, Brad.

Brad: Yeah, we can fix just about anything except for…

Bob: A broken heart. And we can't fix the high blood pressure either apparently.

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