Eating a protein-rich diet can ward off high blood pressure, a new research states.
High blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension, is a silent killer. It complicates heart's ability to distribute blood to the body and also leads to hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis.
The latest study shows that people who consume high amounts of protein are least likely to develop high blood pressure. According to the findings, people had 40 percent less risk of hypertension after following a protein-rich diet.
The research was conducted on healthy participants from the Framingham Offspring Study. The team examined the protein intake of the participants and followed them over an 11-year period.
Researchers made certain observations and found that people who ate more animal or plant protein had considerably lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure after four years of follow-up. This effect was found in both overweight and normal weight individuals.
The researchers also found an association between greater protein intake and lower long-term risks for high blood pressure. The team stated that diets that contained higher intakes of fiber and protein correlated with a 40-60 percent decrease in the risk of hypertension.
"These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP," said corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. "This growing body of research on the vascular benefits of protein, including this study, suggest we need to revisit optimal protein intake for optimal heart health," she added.
While the research shows protein intake is beneficial for high blood pressure. Experts say that following a high-protein diet might be harmful if followed for a long time. Mayo Clinic explains that certain high-protein diets limit intake of carbohydrates, so much so that it causes nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber. This can lead to health problems such as constipation and diverticulitis.
Some protein-rich foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy products may increase an individual's risk ff heart disease. Moreover, high-protein diets may deteriorate kidney function in people with kidney disease, as the body might face difficulties in eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism, as reported by Mayo Clinic.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Hypertension.