Weight Loss Drug Study Leads to New Information on the Role of Diets and Blood Pressure
According to a 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, low-carbohydrate diets may be the most beneficial in helping to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
In this study, 146 obese or overweight adults were randomly divided into two groups. The first group was placed on a ketogenic, low-carbohydrate diet, and the second group received the weight loss drug Orlistat while following a low-fat diet.
On top of dealing with obesity, many of the participants had other health issues including high blood pressure and diabetes.
At the conclusion of the study, the low-carbohydrate diet group showed a slight increase in weight loss when compared with the Orlistat/low-fat diet group. It’s important to note that the low-carbohydrate group showed better results without the help of drugs.
This is just one of many studies that put low-carb diets ahead of the race when it comes to weight loss and overall health.
Doctors Discover Low-Carb Equals Low Blood Pressure
Although the initial purpose of this study was to measure a weight loss drug, doctors soon discovered that more than half of the participants in the low-carb group had either reduced or discontinued blood pressure medications, compared to only a 21% reduction in the Orlistat/low-fat group.
Low-Carb VS Low-Fat: The Study
Overall, the low-carb diet group showed an average reduction of 5.9 points in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading). The Orlistat/low-fat group showed an average increase of 1.5 points.
“I expected the weight loss to be considerable with both therapies but we were surprised to see blood pressure improve so much more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with Orlistat.”
William S. Yancy, Jr., MD – Associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center
In the conclusion of the study referenced in this article, the low-carbohydrate diet group proved to be more effective at lowering blood pressure than the Orlistat/low-fat diet group.
The same study linked on PubMed.gov:
Fat, No Longer The Enemy?
I have heard it chanted over and over again my entire life, cut the fat! I remember growing up my sisters didn’t touch anything unless it was labeled “diet” or “low-fat”. Like parrots, people repeat it over and over again without question.
The low-fat diet is the default diet that anyone who is anybody jumps to at the drop of a hat. Why? As human beings we are creatures of habit, we get into a routine and we stick with it. Even if the routine we are in is detrimental to our health, we keep our heads up and keep marching forward, hoping that one day it will all pay off.
With low-fat diets being the number one diet in America, why are so many people in such poor health? Maybe we have been wrong about fat? Wrong about carbohydrates? It’s hard for people to accept it but, sometimes we just have to admit when we are wrong. It’s how we grow and advance as a society.
Studies have shown that a low-carbohydrate diet is far superior to your standard low-fat diet. Not only do low-carb diets work better, but they have a significantly lower failure rate due to the fact that you can eat until you are full, despite restricted diets that require willpower and discipline to fight cravings.
Why I Adopted a Low Carbohydrate Diet (My Story)
Years ago I used to be a very different person, I didn’t know a single thing about health. I lived recklessly and basically ate or drank anything I wanted without any regard for how it would affect my health.
Like many Americans, I lived my life feeling like I was invincible. That somehow I was “exempt” from the rest of the world, and therefore didn’t have to take care of myself.
My diet consisted of a lot of processed foods, carbohydrates, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. I drank a frightening amount of soda, Coca-Cola was my poison of choice. Eventually, I switched to the store brand soda, as to afford my unhealthy habit.
I remember my friend Craig (who is a health nut) kept telling me over and over again to stop doing what I was doing to my body. He was genuinely concerned about my health seeing how I was basically on a collision course.
He warned me over and over again that if I continued doing this to my body, I was going to get type 2 diabetes. That I needed to throw away the soda and processed foods and immediately go on a healthy diet. I simply rolled my eyes and continued on as usual until one day I woke up and realized he was right.
It was like someone hit a switch overnight. I had all of the symptoms immediately, I had major symptoms. It was clear that I pushed my body too far, and I ended up “breaking” something. I was frightened, didn’t have medical insurance, I had no idea what to do.
Type 2 Diabetes? Fat to the Rescue!
So I called my friend Craig and told him I was ready to finally listen to him. He told me to go on a low carb/high-fat diet. That’s right, he stressed high fat! I listened to him without argument, and within just a few short days all of my symptoms disappeared.
Not only did my symptoms disappear, but my energy levels increased substantially. I felt a whole new level of mental clarity, it’s like I was more awake than I have ever been. I did this by taking incorporating a high level of healthy dietary fats into my diet and keeping my carbohydrates low. I also removed all processed foods from my diet and drank only water or homemade organic iced tea sweetened with liquid stevia.
Weight Loss Doctor Increases Dietary Fat to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Dr. Sarah Hallberg, DO is a board certified doctor specializing in both obesity medicine and internal medicine and has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. Her treatment programs have been highly successful in weight loss and reversing diabetes and other metabolic illnesses.
Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines – A TedX presentation by Dr. Sarah Hallberg.
From that point, I began educating myself on the ketogenic diet as well as its role in reversing type 2 diabetes. I was surprised at just how much information is out there on this subject, yet you will hardly hear any doctor recommend this method. Secondly, I was surprised at seeing how many other health issues could be improved with this type of diet, including high blood pressure.
It’s very interesting to note that many times diabetic and cardiovascular issues can go hand in hand with each other. Of course, I myself believe that cardiovascular issues can contribute to countless other health issues as well. That’s why one of the most important things in my life is to make sure my cardiovascular system is running in top condition. The blood that flows through your veins provides life to your entire body, make sure you protect it.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that focuses on three primary factors to achieving nutritional ketosis:
- Minimal carbohydrates
- Moderate amount of protein
- High levels of healthy dietary fats
Generally, on a ketogenic diet, one would attempt to keep a balance consisting of 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 70% healthy dietary fats.
The ketogenic diet also involves consuming high amounts of fiber, foods that are rich in antioxidants with minimal sugar. The best fiber sources are derived from green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and parsley.
Healthy dietary fats consist of those derived from grass-fed or range free animals, dairy or monosaturated fats like avocados. These are not to be confused with trans-fats, which are really bad for you. No matter what diet you are on, you should always avoid trans-fats as much as you can.
Sources of healthy dietary fats:
- Grass-fed meats (these contain a healthy level of Omega3s)
- Pastured butter (preferably from a local farmer, or you can purchase Kerry Gold)
- Organic pastured eggs
- Coconut, MCT and olive oils (preferably organic)
- Raw cacao butter
- Raw nuts like pecan and macadamia
What is nutritional ketosis and what does it have to do with weight loss?
Ketosis describes a state in which your body burns fat instead of sugar (glucose) for energy. Mounting evidence so far has shown that ketosis may be beneficial for ailments including diabetes, heart disease, seizures, and neurological disorders.
When you consume a diet that consists primarily of healthy dietary fats with moderate amounts of protein and low carbohydrates, your body switches to converting fat to ketones, which in turn is burned for fuel. This is the process that kickstarts weight loss, as well as provides many other health benefits.
Portion Control or Appetite Control?
One thing that has been rammed into my head all of my life is the common “you need to limit your portions” comment when it comes to dieting. Calorie restricted diets many times advise people to purchase kitchen scales and weigh out portions before eating. While counting calories to make sure you don’t go over your threshold.
As you measure your portions, you are constantly hungry, forced to use your will to prevent from sneaking a snack.
Unfortunately, I have seen countless people on these types of diets, and you usually end up finding candy bar wrappers hidden in the couch cushions. Or Entenmann’s cakes stashed under the bed behind a shoe box. Most people who are on this type of diet end up cheating often simply because they just can’t deal with the annoying cravings.
I’m sorry but for a guy like me who likes to eat, portion control is not going to cut it.
The Best Way to Reduce Your Portions: Appetite Control
This is one of the most amazing things I have discovered about this type of diet. I am consistently eating less food. My portions have gotten smaller and smaller, but not for the reasons one might think.
The truth is, I am just not that hungry anymore, it’s like the diet has been slowly removing my cravings. This is because through this diet I broke my sugar addiction, and normalized my insulin levels leading to a noticeable reduction in cravings.
At this point, I am only eating for survival instead of enjoyment. When I’m hungry, it’s because my body is telling me that I need more fuel. Since I permanently live a ketogenic lifestyle, my fuel is fat!
Unfortunately, we are brainwashed from birth to view eating as some sort of a reward based treat that we seek for enjoyment. This starts with young children routinely being provided with carbohydrate or sugar-laden processed foods and drinks coupled with regimental snacking. These routines work to develop unhealthy eating habits that carry all the way to adulthood while keeping insulin levels high as to increase overall cravings. Now ask yourself, why would food manufacturers want everyone’s insulin levels out of whack so they have more cravings?
Insulin Levels and Cravings go Hand in Hand
Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to “signal” your cells to convert sugar into glucose. If insulin wasn’t present, your blood sugar would skyrocket every time you eat and you would not live for very long.
The problem is, not only does insulin convert sugar to glucose, but it also does two other things:
- Triggers fat storage
- Increases cravings
If your diet is high in sugar and carbohydrates, your insulin levels are going to be elevated, resulting in fat storage and more frequent cravings.
The Standard American Diet is a SAD Way To Keep Yourself Unhealthy
High insulin levels are a very bad thing for anyone because it will only lead to a downward spiral to poor health. Sadly, the standard American diet consists of high levels of sugar, carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup and other processed ingredients that literally decimate your health.
This diet keeps people on the Ferris wheel of poor health, around and round you go eating, taking meds, eating more, taking more meds, until one day it’s your funeral.
The standard American diet is a self-eating snake, and it’s destroying our health one person at a time. The diet does nothing but rake in huge profits for big corporations, keeping people hooked on excessive sugar, carbohydrates, and processed foods. It’s all about making a ton of money by keeping you on the Ferris wheel of poor health.
I call it a Ferris wheel because the deeper you get into a diet of excess sugar and carbs, the more you crave it. You don’t have to be hooked on candy bars and iced cream to be addicted to sugar.
The Standard American Diet Ferris Wheel
There are no height or age requirements for this ride, anyone of all ages can hop on the diabetes-inducing Ferris wheel.
- You ingest carbohydrates (because you have a craving for them)
- Your blood sugar spikes
- Dopamine is released into the brain (this is the addiction part)
- Insulin is produced to reduce the blood sugar level
- Sugar level drops, insulin levels are now high
- Sugar is stored as fat
- Low blood sugar level triggers cravings (return to step 1)
While this entire process is going on, your cells are increasingly becoming resistant to insulin. This means that when your body needs to signal your cells to convert blood sugar to glucose, it has to increase insulin production to offset the resistance in your cells.
Here is an easy way to understand how insulin resistance works. Insulin is a signaling hormone, meaning when it is released into the bloodstream, it is released for the purpose of signaling the cells to do something. Think of it as sort of a telephone call, calling your cells and telling them they need to start converting sugar into glucose.
When a cell becomes resistant to insulin, it’s as if the cell becomes hard of hearing. When that so-called “telephone call” is being made, the caller has to raise his voice (just like your insulin levels rise).
This is a process that takes place over and over again as your cells increasingly become resistant to insulin. After some time, your cells stop responding altogether, it’s that point that you officially have type 2 diabetes.
Take someone who has been on this unhealthy diet for years and try telling them to cut down their portions. You can’t expect a person to live a life where they are constantly hungry all the time.
If you can’t control how much you eat, you need to detoxify yourself off of your unhealthy diet with a ketogenic diet. Over time the cravings will go away, and you will eventually stop craving unhealthy food. That’s why I am able to walk through a grocery store and not have a single craving for any of the unhealthy things I used to eat.
Now it may seem like this article has swayed away from the subject of lowering high blood pressure and into the subject of weight loss. Keep in mind these things actually go hand in hand, obviously, anyone who has high blood pressure should focus on losing excess weight for starters.
The Fake Health Food Movement
Most people don’t know how to lower high blood pressure naturally, due to the fact that most people see failure at every turn. Grocery stores are loaded with what I like to call “fake health foods”, which are processed foods that are disguised as healthy. Seeing that diet has always been one of the best natural remedies for high blood pressure, many affect lifestyle changes in an attempt to achieve better health, yet they end up switching to foods that are no better than their former diet.
These foods typically like to use marketing terms (words like “natural”, “healthy”) and special gimmicks or even fancy logos to appear healthy. With dieting, like other natural blood pressure remedies, you have to exercise caution and be sure to do plenty of research. Don’t assume that just because something has a natural label on it makes it so.
Another thing to consider is the damage that is done to your body, mostly in the form of inflammation which in turn increases oxidative stress and decreases cellular antioxidant capabilities. The lack of antioxidants can allow for the overproduction of free radicals that could have a serious role in diabetes, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
To simplify it, an unhealthy diet heavy in carbohydrates can cause damage to your cardiovascular system, resulting in ailments including but not limited to high blood pressure.
The first step to learning how to lower blood pressure naturally is to learn as much as you can about what causes high blood pressure, in most cases the cause is inflammation.
Sugar and Nitric Oxide Production
As seen in this article on my homepage, doctors have recently discovered the role of a gas called Nitric Oxide in relation to our cardiovascular system. In their discovery, they learned that when Nitric Oxide production is increased, the cardiovascular system essentially repairs itself leading to lower blood pressure.
In an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is perceived that an increased intake of sugar correlates with an increase of heart disease based on several different test models.
In conclusion, the ketogenic diet may provide you with the following benefits:
- Weight loss
- Reduction in type 2 diabetic symptoms or reversal of type 2 diabetes
- Lower blood pressure
- Appetite reduction
- Reduced inflammation
Want To Know How To Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally Without Meds?
According to groundbreaking research, L-Arginine helps the body to produce Nitric Oxide.
When Nitric Oxide is released into the bloodstream, this triggers a healing process that helps your body to promote better blood pressure levels.
These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.