Eating mindfully. A child who learns to see food as fuel and not emotional compensation can start to make better choices at mealtime — for example, selecting complex carbs instead of simple carbs (whole-grain instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white); getting more fiber with beans, fruits, and vegetables; choosing "healthy" fats like olive oil and nuts; and avoiding too many empty calories from soda and sweets.
The AHA/ASA recommends a diet that is low in sodium, is high in potassium, and promotes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products for reducing BP and lowering the risk of stroke. Other recommendations include increasing physical activity (30 minutes or more of moderate intensity activity on a daily basis) and losing weight (for overweight and obese persons).
Hypertension is one of the most common worldwide diseases afflicting humans and is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Despite extensive research over the past several decades, the etiology of most cases of adult hypertension is still unknown, and control of blood pressure is suboptimal in the general population. Due to the associated morbidity and mortality and cost to society, preventing and treating hypertension is an important public health challenge. Fortunately, recent advances and trials in hypertension research are leading to an increased understanding of the pathophysiology of hypertension and the promise for novel pharmacologic and interventional treatments for this widespread disease.
Epigenetic phenomena, such as DNA methylation and histone modification, have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension. For example, a high-salt diet appears to unmask nephron development caused by methylation. Maternal water deprivation and protein restriction during pregnancy increase renin-angiotensin expression in the fetus. Mental stress induces a DNA methylase, which enhances autonomic responsiveness. The pattern of serine protease inhibitor gene methylation predicts preeclampsia in pregnant women. [26]
Much of the disease burden of high blood pressure is experienced by people who are not labeled as hypertensive.[87] Consequently, population strategies are required to reduce the consequences of high blood pressure and reduce the need for antihypertensive medications. Lifestyle changes are recommended to lower blood pressure, before starting medications. The 2004 British Hypertension Society guidelines[87] proposed lifestyle changes consistent with those outlined by the US National High BP Education Program in 2002[95] for the primary prevention of hypertension:
Blood pressure rises with aging and the risk of becoming hypertensive in later life is considerable.[37] Several environmental factors influence blood pressure. High salt intake raises the blood pressure in salt sensitive individuals; lack of exercise, obesity, and depression[38] can play a role in individual cases. The possible roles of other factors such as caffeine consumption,[39] and vitamin D deficiency[40] are less clear. Insulin resistance, which is common in obesity and is a component of syndrome X (or the metabolic syndrome), is also thought to contribute to hypertension.[41] One review suggests that sugar may play an important role in hypertension and salt is just an innocent bystander.[42]
Whelton, P. K., Carey, R. M., Aronow, W. S., Casey, D. E., Collins, K. J., Dennison Himmelfarb, C., ...Wright, J. T. (2017, November 13). ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults. A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on clinical practice guidelines. Hypertension. Retrieved from http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/11/10/HYP.0000000000000065
Metabolic syndrome is a burgeoning global problem. Approximately one fourth of the adult European population is estimated to have metabolic syndrome, with a similar prevalence in Latin America. [25] It is also considered an emerging epidemic in developing East Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Korea. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in East Asia may range from 8-13% in men and from 2-18% in women, depending on the population and definitions used. [29, 30, 31]
A positive result, in the absence of unequivocal high blood sugar, should be confirmed by a repeat of any of the above methods on a different day. It is preferable to measure a fasting glucose level because of the ease of measurement and the considerable time commitment of formal glucose tolerance testing, which takes two hours to complete and offers no prognostic advantage over the fasting test.[66] According to the current definition, two fasting glucose measurements above 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) is considered diagnostic for diabetes mellitus.
Hypertension may be primary, which may develop as a result of environmental or genetic causes, or secondary, which has multiple etiologies, including renal, vascular, and endocrine causes. Primary or essential hypertension accounts for 90-95% of adult cases, and a small percentage of patients (2-10%) have a secondary cause. Hypertensive emergencies are most often precipitated by inadequate medication or poor compliance.
Another common endocrine cause is oral contraceptive use. Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is the likely mechanism, because hepatic synthesis of angiotensinogen is induced by the estrogen component of oral contraceptives. Approximately 5% of women taking oral contraceptives may develop hypertension, which abates within 6 months after discontinuation. The risk factors for oral contraceptive–associated hypertension include mild renal disease, familial history of essential hypertension, age older than 35 years, and obesity. It would be better to group oral contraceptives and steroids with drug-induced hypertension (see Table 1, below).
This last one is going to really bother the primal crowd, but the number one way to avoid POPs is to avoid high fat animal products. This means that a lower carb and higher fat diet may not be the best option as a fat loss diet. Making non-starchy vegetables and lean protein sources the priority may be best to deal with the POP effect above. If you have been doing well on a low carb high fat diet, don’t stop, just realize that this POP issue may become an issue in slowing the rate of your weight loss or be a factor in weight regain. If this has been something you deal with, you may want to try something closer to a 30:40:30 diet.
People who have metabolic syndrome or are at risk for it may need to take medicine as treatment. This is especially true if diet and other lifestyle changes have not made a difference. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help lower blood pressure, improve insulin metabolism, lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, increase weight loss, or some combination of these.
Especially severe cases of hypertension, or hypertensive crises, are defined as a BP of more than 180/120 mm Hg and may be further categorized as hypertensive emergencies or urgencies. Hypertensive emergencies are characterized by evidence of impending or progressive target organ dysfunction, whereas hypertensive urgencies are those situations without progressive target organ dysfunction. [2]

Most conventional practitioners recommend that patients follow a healthy eating plan like the American Dietary Association (ADA) diet, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or the Mediterranean Diet. All of these emphasize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting unhealthy fats and promoting leaner protein foods like low-fat dairy and lean meats like chicken and fish.


Eating healthfully. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet, like many healthy-eating plans, limit unhealthy fats and emphasize fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. Both dietary approaches have been found to offer important health benefits — in addition to weight loss — for people who have components of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome increases your risk for coronary heart disease. Other risk factors, besides metabolic syndrome, also increase your risk for heart disease. For example, a high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level and smoking are major risk factors for heart disease. For details about all of the risk factors for heart disease, go to the Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors Health Topic.

Gary Edward Sander, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FACP, FASH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Chemical Society, American College of Cardiology, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Federation for Clinical Research, American Federation for Medical Research, American Heart Association, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, American Society of Hypertension, American Thoracic Society, Heart Failure Society of America, National Lipid Association, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation
Now that you've enjoyed some success following the Atkins Nutritional Approach™, let's talk about sustaining that weight loss. You undoubtedly know exactly how much weight you lost during the first 14 days of Induction. That number will help give you a general understanding of your personal degree of metabolic resistance. As you can see on the metabolic resistance table below, a woman who has 40 pounds to lose and sheds three pounds in two weeks during Induction has a high degree of metabolic resistance as compared to a woman with similar weight-loss goals who drops eight pounds.
Glucose is a simple sugar found in food. Glucose is an essential nutrient that provides energy for the proper functioning of the body cells. Carbohydrates are broken down in the small intestine and the glucose in digested food is then absorbed by the intestinal cells into the bloodstream, and is carried by the bloodstream to all the cells in the body where it is utilized. However, glucose cannot enter the cells alone and needs insulin to aid in its transport into the cells. Without insulin, the cells become starved of glucose energy despite the presence of abundant glucose in the bloodstream. In certain types of diabetes, the cells' inability to utilize glucose gives rise to the ironic situation of "starvation in the midst of plenty". The abundant, unutilized glucose is wastefully excreted in the urine.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells don't get enough glucose, which may cause you to lose weight. Also, if you are urinating more frequently because of uncontrolled diabetes, you may lose more calories and water, resulting in weight loss, says Daniel Einhorn, MD, medical director of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego.
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