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   Sep 10

A good excuse to eat steak tonight: A high protein diet is linked to LOWER risk of raised blood pressure

People who ate around 102g of protein a day had a 40% lower risk of developing high blood pressure than people who ate around 58g a day

This equates to four steaks, five chicken breasts or 10 cans of chickpeas

High-protein diets which included a lot of fibre led to a 59% reduction in BP

High blood pressure or ‘hypertension’ is called the ‘silent killer’ as it often has no obvious symptoms but can lead to heart attacks or stroke

Previous research has found eggs and seafood have blood pressure-lowering qualities

You might think that a diet involving juicy steaks, blocks of cheese or pots of houmous is a heart-attack waiting to happen.

But people who eat a high-protein diet have a lower risk of high blood pressure than those who eat less protein.

U.S. researchers found people who consumed about 102g of protein a day had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing high blood pressure than people who consumed half this amount.

In terms of food, 102g equates to about four beef steaks, five chicken breasts or ten tins of chickpeas.

Carole Middleton (pictured left) is an advocate of the high protein Dukan diet, while Jennifer Aniston (pictured right) is a fan of the high protein Atkins diet. U.S. researchers found that eating a high-protein diet is linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure, a condition known as the ‘silent killer’

Fibre was also found to be beneficial, so a diet high in this and protein led to a 59 per cent reduction in the risk of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure – also known as ‘hypertension’ – is called the ‘silent killer’ because it rarely has obvious symptoms.

If left untreated, however, it can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

According to NHS figures, around 30 per cent of people in England have high blood pressure but may not know it.

The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have blood pressure measured by a GP or other healthcare professional.

Previous studies have shown protein-rich foods like eggs or seafood have blood pressure-lowering qualities.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, tracked 1,361 healthy people for an average of 11.3 years to see if they developed high blood pressure.

Researchers found both animal and plant proteins were associated with lower blood pressure readings.

Both types of protein also led to a statistically significant reductions in the risk of high blood pressure.


Turkey and chicken breast

Fish such as tuna and salmon

Low-fat cheese varieties such as cottage cheese or mozzarella

Pork Loin

Lean beef and veal




Yoghurt, milk and soy milk

Nuts and seeds

The beneficial effects of protein were apparent for men and women and those of any weight.

The study’s author Justin Buendia, a research assistant at Boston University School of Medicine in the U.S., said eating more protein could mean we might feel fuller sooner,

As a result, we eat less of other high-calorie food groups, improving our overall diet.

He told Yahoo news: ‘It may be that people who eat more protein have healthier diets in general.

‘With higher protein consumption, you may eat less of other high-calorie foods.

You may feel full sooner, and that would lead to lower weight, which would lead to beneficial metabolic outcomes, such as lower blood pressure.’

However, he added that protein itself might have a quality that reduces hypertension because the amino acids in proteins may help dilate blood vessels, effectively lowering blood pressure.

Arginine – an amino acid found in both plant and animal protein sources, including eggs – plays a role in blood-vessel dilation, he said.

He added that recent animal studies suggest some amino acids in dairy products may have similar effects.

He concluded that eating more protein could help those worried about hypertension.

‘Having an egg or some milk for breakfast is probably a good way to start the day. In terms of snacking, instead of going for a bag of chips or bread, have yogurt or a piece of cheese or a small handful of nuts.’

However, another study found for middle-aged people, eating protein from animal sources like meat and cheese was as deadly as smoking.

The University of Southern California study found for those aged 50 or more, people who ate the most animal proteins were almost twice as likely to die early as those who ate low amounts.

They were also four times as likely to be killed by cancer, a figure comparable to smoking.

The protein found in meat, cheese, eggs and other animal products was responsible for feeding tumours and fuelling the ageing of the body’s cells, the researchers said.

Protein could also be bad for your kidneys, increasing the risk of developing kidney disease, and can also increase the risk of calcium kidney stones.

Experts say protein itself might have a quality that reduces hypertension because the amino acids may help dilate blood vessels, effectively lowering blood pressure

Source: Daily Mail

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