Tag Archives: high blood pressure

Best Diets for 2018

This year the DASH and Mediterranean diets tied for first place as best overall diet.

DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It highlights eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and minimizing on salt. This diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help individuals lower their high blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet also outlines fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with moderate alcohol intake. Both have lean proteins such as fish or chicken.

Best Diets

The Mediterranean and DASH diets were voted best diets for 2018. Photo by U.S. News

Both diets were also ranked as easiest to follow, with the Mediterranean diet winning first place and the DASH diet fourth. They also tied for first place as best diet for people with diabetes and claimed top spots in some other categories.

Experts based their choices by how easy the diet was to follow, the likelihood of short-term and long-term weight loss, and how effective it was against diabetes and heart disease. One of the experts mentioned that there is no single diet that fits everyone. You have to find a diet that you can adapt to, manage and maintain over time.

Other best overall diets include Weight Watchers, the Flexitarian diet, Volumetrics, TLC diet and MIND diet.

The Flexitarian diet is mainly a meatless plan that focuses on plant-based foods. Weight Watchers focuses on healthy eating, with point values assigned to foods and a daily point limit. TLC is short for therapeutic changes for high cholesterol; followers exercise more and reduce saturated fat. The MIND diet joins parts of the Mediterranean and DASH diets and pushes to improve brain health.

Best commercial diets: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were winners for first and second place. Jenny Craig has low-calorie packaged foods and support from consultants. The Flat Belly diet and Nutritarian tied for third. The Flat Belly plan emphasizes eating healthy, with monounsaturated fats such as from olive oil and nuts and setting a 1,600-calorie daily limit. The Nutritarian diet focuses on a plant-based plan with ”anti-cancer super foods.”

Best weight loss diets: Winners included Weight Watchers, Volumetrics, Jenny Craig, Vegan, and Flexitarian. Volumetrics emphasizes eating foods that fill you up, such as broth-based soups, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms.

Best fast weight loss diets: Winners were the HMR diet, Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser, Medifast, SlimFast and Volumetrics. The HMR diet is a low-calorie plan with meal replacement shakes that emphasize fruits and vegetables. The Biggest Loser involves eating regular meals with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables and keeping a food journal. Medifast starts with five meal replacements a day and one meal, with more meals introduced as weight is lost. SlimFast is a program of meal replacement shakes.

Best diets for healthy eating: Winners: DASH, Mediterranean, Flexitarian, TLC, Mayo Clinic, MIND, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers. The Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes healthy lifelong eating.

Easiest to follow: Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Weight Watchers, DASH, and MIND.

Best for diabetes: After the two first-place winners, DASH and Mediterranean, followed the Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic, Vegan, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers diets.

Best for heart disease: DASH declared the top spot, followed by Mediterranean and Ornish (tie for second) and TLC. Flexitarian, MIND, and Vegan tied for the fifth spot. The Ornish diet ranks foods from healthiest to most satisfying, inspiring followers to focus on the foods from the healthiest group.

Best plant-based diets: The top five are the Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Ornish, Vegetarian, and Traditional Asian diets. The Traditional Asian plan includes low-fat eating with minimal red meat and plenty of fresh fruits, fish, and vegetables.

As mentioned earlier, there is no one diet that works for all. Just because the diet is popular does not mean that it is right for you. The best option for weight loss is to try different diets and find one that is easy for you to stick to long-term.


Source: U.S. News & World Report: “Best Diets 2018 rankings.”

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

High Protein Diets May Lower Your Blood Pressure

Protein is perhaps one of the most important foods when it comes to losing weight and maintaining our health. The recent Framingham Offspring Study discovered that “residents who consumed a higher protein intake had a lower risk of high blood pressure.” (American Journal of Hypertension 2014)

High Protein Diets

Foods like lean meats, eggs and low-fat dairy products are high in protein.

I always thought about MK 677 as just being good for muscle building and slowing down your metabolism but the benefit of lowering your blood pressure is quite amazing. Since I am a skinny guy, I need a whole lot of protein in my diet plan to build muscle already so a high protein diet isn’t new to me.

“Participants used for the study were men and women between the ages of 30-54, who didn’t have any high blood pressure, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and were followed for 11.3 years.” (American Journal of Hypertension 2014) Unfortunately, high blood pressure is disproportionately more common in Blacks and Hispanics because of our culture lifestyle so I always recommend a low calorie diet. Fast food and processed foods are high in sodium and saturated fats so they greatly increase your high blood pressure levels fast.

Some of my favorite foods that are high in protein are, fish, nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Protein shakes before and after my workouts are essential to my daily diet plan and they are so delicious at the same time. Fiber is important also in your high protein diet. Not consuming enough dietary fiber has been consistently showing up as a complication factor. Some studies have shown that simply increasing dietary fiber to over 30 grams helps reduce blood pressure by a few percent. (Scala 2002)

Protein has amino acids in them that may help dilate blood vessels and effectively lower your blood pressure. For instance, arginine – an amino acid found in both animal and plant protein sources, play a huge role in blood-vessel dilation. (American Journal of Hypertension 2014) One thing to keep in mind is that when you are consuming protein; make sure it contains monounsaturated fats and not saturated fat. It is important to consume the right kind of calories or you will gain excess body fat. This will lead to other health issues such as risk of cancer and stroke.

High Protein Diets - Eggs

Eggs are high in protein.

High blood pressure is a serious matter and more and more individuals are losing their lives because of conditions relating to high blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30% of the population has high blood pressure and only about 50% percent of those individuals have their condition under control. (CDC 2014) With that being said, you now know how important it is to control your high blood pressure and maintain a daily healthy diet plan. This trend of high blood pressure seems to be steadily increasing and now the kids are suffering from this inadequate lifestyle. I now began to see even kids developing serious health issues at a young age and the life expectancy age is getting lower as well.

We have to take care of ourselves and keep our blood pressure under control. Eating diets that are high in protein has been proven to lower blood pressure in this recent study in Boston, so I will be adding even more protein in my diet for best results. My body takes a lot of protein to gain muscle in the first place so this high protein diet plan is not necessarily new to me. I do recommend each and every one of you to add a little more protein to your current diet plan and see how it helps lower your blood pressure. Thanks and God bless.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University.
Internet Marketer and Real Estate Investor.

Sources: 1. J.Buendia, M.Bradlee, M. Singer, L. Moore, “Diets Higher in Protein Predict Lower High Blood Pressure Risk in Framingham Offspring Study Adults” American Journal of Hypertension 2014
2. J. Scala “25 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure” www.ebscohost.com 2002
3. Center for Disease Control “High Blood Pressure Facts” www.cdc.gov 2014