lowing blood pressure

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by stevie, May 27, 2004.

  1. stevie

    stevie New Member

    I wish to help a 55 year old man who wants to reduce blood pressure without the use of anti-hypertensive medication. The doctor suggested that a lifestyle change might well be enough in this particular situation, and will reassess in 6months time.

    This person is, by my estimations, about 20-25kg overweight for his bodyframe. But aside from high blood pressure, there are no other medical complaints (except for dodgy knees). All blood assessements were within normal ranges including HDL, LDL etc

    This person is mostely sedentary and eats mostly prepackaged foods eg. premade lasange, premade chicken curry etc (in addition to scoffing all leftovers...whatever they may be).

    Apart from poor dietry choices, meal timing is poor. He eats nothing until 6ish pm at which point he eats almost contiunously until bedtime.

    Overall, his attitude is good, and he seems willing to make the neccessary changes in his life.

    Obviously the main issues are getting him to:
    1)loose weight.
    3)make better dietry choices- ie reduce saturated fat and increase EFAs; reduce salt; eat more fruit and veg (he really doesnt like veg! ); include more fibre.

    Generally i have done my homework on this one, but i just thought i would run it by some people to see if there is anything else that ive missed.

    In terms of diet, i think ill start by getting him to write down everyting he eats for one week. In this way i hope to educate him about where his calories are coming from, and where all the salt is coming form etc. I hope to be able to get him to learn to make better food choices.
    After this, we will be in a better position to see exactly where he is going wrong.
    Dietry stratergy will go along the lines of 12kcal/lb BW, 1g/lb BW protein, <25% fat, the rest from unrefined carbs, and plenty of water.

    Excersise will be scheduled around his working life and not the other way around. It will resemble HST, with fullbody workouts 3x per week. 20mins of medium intensity cardio will be performed at the end of the weights session. Walking on 'off' days.
    Does anyone have an opinion on a particular training style that might aid lowering blood pressure?

    I am curious to know of any supplements that could be taken to help lower BP and at what dosages. eg fish oils, garlic? etc
  2. Jake

    Jake New Member

    Sounds like you got the bases covered, stevie. The big thing for this guy is losing the weight -I'd bet he has it all around the middle, right?- and exercise. I dont know how high his BP is, but you might start him off with a full month of cardio and very low weight resistance (bodyweight is a good start) exercises. If his BP is pretty high, the added strain of weight training may raise it to nasty levels during lifts, and if he's as out of shape as you say, that wouldn't be too good.
    As to supplements- I'd stick with the healthy diet you suggest- lots of fruits and veggies, maybe add in ground flaxseed to add in some good soluble fiber. To be honest, you're tlking about a major lifestyle change for this guy, and I think he will have his hands full enough just managing diet and exercise without dealing with any supplements. Plus, you don't want him to start thinking that you can take care of high BP just by popping a pill or two. Yes, you can do that by taking antihypertensive meds, but these don't take care of the underlying risk factors of obesity and bad diet.
    Best of luck to you two- he's very fortunate to have you as a partner in this effort. BTW- it *can* be done- five years ago, I was an overweight 49 year old with much the same kind of thing going on- bad habits basically. One day, I just decided I had had enough of that and "converted" by watching my diet carefully (actually my wife was invaluable on this- she filled the same role you're going to assume, and I can't stress how important that is). Nothing fancy- just your basic calorie diet- 1700/day. After about 2-3 weeks of that I started cardio- 45 mins daily, and added in weight training slowly. I went from 245lbs to 170 in about 3 months (I'm 6 feet even). I started HST two years ago and am now 190 at about 12% BF. It can be done, with a good helper!

    All the best-
  3. stevie

    stevie New Member

    thanks for the encouragement. ill be sure to pass it on! :D
  4. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    covering all the bases

    even 10% weight loss will make a huge difference in BP. As will exercising and fish oils (a touch)

    see if you can find some information on the DASH dietary principals, they can make as big of a difference as drugs :)
  5. stevie

    stevie New Member

    I had a read through the DASH stuff. I was curious why they are so anti meat? They recommend less than 2 3oz servings of meat/poultry and fish per day. Pehaps its the high fat content? But what is wrong with chicken breasts and fish? Sodium content?

    The DASH diet is basically a low fat, low protein, low sodium diet with plenty of carbs, fruits, and veg.

    Do you think that upping the protein content through lean meats and fish is going to change the benefits this diet offers?
  6. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Um, dunno which dash data you are reading.

    The average american diet is 13-15% protien, dash is around 17-18% based on the std menu plan.

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