If it isn’t evident already, along with being an exercise nut, I am also a very big fan of balanced nutrition. The two do tend to go hand-in-hand and much to the annoyance of my friends and family I am constantly trying to work healthy eating tidbits into casual conversations. Thankfully blogging for Swap.com has relieved the tired ears of those around me, since there are an unlimited number of easy swaps we can make to eat our way to better health!
With that said: in with protein, out with the carbs!
We’ve heard this advice before already, but it turns out this advice applies especially to those with hypertension. A recent study has found that swapping a portion of the day’s carbohydrates for soy protein or low-fat dairy products causes a small, but important decrease in blood pressure levels.
While the researchers do not completely understand why such foods cause this decrease, after splitting a group of 350 participants with high blood pressure into three groups they found that the systolic blood pressure of the groups taking soy and milk protein supplements (versus carb supplements) dropped by an average of two point. And for those of you paying close attention to this information the systolic blood pressure refers to the top number in a blood pressure reading.
So what does this mean? While the drop is not necessarily incredible for the individual, if the entire population experienced this same decrease, the percentage of yearly deaths due to heart attack or stroke could decrease significantly. And that is certainly something the celebrate!
Before you go immediately gulping down gallons and gallons of protein remember, as professor Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D. notes, the overall message to take away from the study is one of moderation. Carbohydrates are necessary in moderation, particularly the healthier whole grain sources, and should not all be replaced with soy proteins. The key is to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Have you made any recent food swaps in your diet? We’re always looking for healthy tips so be sure to leave us a comment or keep the conversation going on our Facebook page.
(Photo by Alpha on Flickr)