21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: January 2012 Kickstart Forum: Blood Pressure
Created on: 02/01/12 01:59 PM Views: 1011 Replies: 2
Blood Pressure
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Any comments on why after doing the kickstart my sister's BP is still elevated? 144/92.

Also-the kickstart is all about eliminating fats-but aren't fats needed for brain health?

What about Omega 3's? Should we never take them again?

RE: Blood Pressure
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Great questions. These topics have come up a lot throughout the Kickstart. I highly recommend word searches in the forum that address these issues. You'll get lots of information. In brief, blood pressure typically responds dramatically to a low-fat, plant based diet. Sodium is a concern as well, so if eating lots of processed/packaged foods, one would want to be aware of sodium content. More here: http://www.nutritionmd.org/consumers/cardiovascular/hypertension_nutrition.html.

Secondly, this is not a no-fat diet; it's a low-fat way of eating (about 10 percent of calories from fat). Ten percent is about what you will get when you eat a diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Thirdly, and related to the second issue, plants contain the perfect ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. You will get what you need and not be taking in all the other fats that hinder omega-3s beneficial qualities. More here: http://www.pcrm.org/pdfs/health/pv_essential_fatty_acids.pdf.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Blood Pressure
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

linnie81 wrote:

Any comments on why after doing the kickstart my sister's BP is still elevated? 144/92.

Also-the kickstart is all about eliminating fats-but aren't fats needed for brain health?

What about Omega 3's? Should we never take them again?

1 - blood pressure is a combo of diet (sodium intake? potassium intake? water? etc), weight, exercise, and genetics. It is going to take a long term lifestyle change - and the kickstart is just one short 21 day aspect of it. Is she still eating salty foods? not moving around much/needing to add exercise? etc. My hubby has lost weight, sticks pretty close to vegan (not 100% but pretty close, generally on the vegan side of vegetarian if not vegan), exercises as he can (necrotic osteoarthritis in one hip) and still needs meds for blood pressure and hypertension because part of it is familial - both parents, at least one sibling that I know of (haven't heard about it from the others), his grandfather, etc.

2 - the kickstart is not FAT FREE - it aims for about 10% of calories from fat. Whole grains contain fat, beans contain fat, even broccoli contains fat. The kickstart is about eliminating ADDED fat like pouring on olive oil and eating lots of nuts.

3 - the problem is generally not that we're not getting enough omega-3s in our day to day, but rather that the SAD is heavy on the omega-6s. That sets things out of balance. Removing animal products helps restore a good portion of that balance. Also, omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish. Know why? Because they get them from the food they eat - epecially things like nori and other seaweeds. And those are fine, vegan-wise (just watch the salt content). So, if you want to supplement omega-3s, go for the ones found in plant sources.

--Deb R


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