The human gut benefits from a balanced diet. It can withstand quite a poor diet for short periods. But, in the long run, there has to be a balance; otherwise, we suffer health side effects. Carbs and blood pressure are an example of this improper balance.
Carbs and high blood pressure correlate closely. It doesn’t mean you have to cut out carbs, but it’s important to choose carbs wisely and get plenty of fiber or protein in the diet.
Blood Pressure and Diet
It’s not that you are trying to hurt yourself, but some of your diet decisions may not be ideal for your unique physiology.
Functional nutrition is a branch of medicine focusing on each person’s unique physiology and microbiome. One person does well with a lot of processed carbs, while another suffers health consequences from the same diet.
I have patients whose blood pressure isn’t affected by salt. They might suffer other issues, such as vascular stiffness, but their blood pressure doesn’t falter.
Carbohydrates – specifically processed carbs – seem to affect most of us negatively over the long term. Carb consumption has a reasonably direct relationship with our blood pressure.
Carbs and Blood Pressure
Fortunately, it doesn’t mean you have to adopt a ketogenic or carb-free diet.
The balance of your macronutrients could help protect against the downsides of a high-carbohydrate diet that is mostly processed.
Certain foods have carbohydrates that digest slower than other carbohydrates. You can test it out by wearing a CGM or checking your blood sugar every 30 minutes after certain meals.
Some carb-rich foods will spike your blood pressure. A continuous blood pressure monitor is helpful for this. But checking your blood pressure every 30 minutes will be as effective.
A Balanced Diet
Some nights I eat a late meal that’s heavy in processed carbs. For example, it might be a homemade burrito with white flour and white rice.
The timing of this late meal, combined with the high glycemic index, often leads me to snore heavily at night, wake up congested the next day, and raise my systolic blood pressure by at least 10 points.
But if the tortilla is a whole-wheat tortilla and I have brown rice with plenty of veggies and go easy on the salt, my body handles it much better.
Heart Healthy Diets
There is no single diet out there that works for everyone. Many argue that diets as a concept of achieving health don’t make sense.
Chances are there are many foods you can eat and remain healthy. However, a dietary adjustment may be needed to achieve Heart Health once you are dealing with a particular cardiovascular disease.
Schedule a session with me today to discuss how to experiment with your diet to figure out what foods are best avoided and which to consume more of.