On Monday, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released new blood pressure guidelines that may have you thinking twice about your salt intake. They state that anyone with a blood pressure from 130/80 to 139/89 is diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension which affects millions of Americans. These new guidelines are based on a 3-year review of 1,000 studies that the chances of dying from a heart attack or stroke are double at 130/80 vs the previous guideline of 140/90. This means 46% – almost half the US population – are now considered hypertensive overnight.
This is not a reason to run to your doctor and request to be put on medication. This is a call to action to be proactive about your health starting today. The recommendations for stage 1 hypertension are lifestyle driven which has always been the cornerstone of how we treat hypertension at Parsley Health . Focusing on a plant-based, mineral-rich diet while managing stress and regular exercise is the key to lowering blood pressure and reducing heart disease risk.
While sodium intake often gets a reputation for being the main contributing factor to elevated blood pressure, it’s important to look at other minerals like potassium and magnesium. Research shows that an increased intake of potassium from food sources may be more effective than reducing dietary sodium intake.
Magnesium has also been studied for reducing blood pressure with studies showing an inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and hypertension. At Parsley Health, this a part of our comprehensive Assessment focusing on reducing your metabolic risk and testing key biomarkers without immediately resorting to medications or surgery.
Dr. Tiffany Lester is a board-certified Integrative Medicine Physician who has practiced a holistic approach to health for over a decade. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where she completed her training in internal medicine. She also graduated from the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Arizona with Dr. Andrew Weil, and has extensive training in functional medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Lester is also featured as a teacher for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and regularly contributes to national wellness publications.