Pass the Greens, Skip the Red Meat

Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (December 2005), eating more produce tends to reduce the risk of higher blood pressure (BP), whereas eating more meat raises the risk. Several previous reports have shown similar associations, but few of them have specifically addressed this issue in regard to younger adult patients.

Researchers evaluated 4300 patients between 18 and 30 years of age at baseline and studied the incidence of elevated BP (either having a BP of at least 130/85 mm Hg or taking a BP-lowering agent) over 15 years. Dietary assessments were conducted at baseline and at 15 years into the study.

Researchers noted that, as consumption of produce rose, the risk of elevated BP dropped, in some cases from 27% to 36%. The opposite was true of meat intake, whereas dairy intake seemed to have no relevant effect on overall BP.

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