Nearly a third of American adults have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Often called the “silent killer” because it provides few warning signs, hypertension increases a patient’s risk for heart attack and stroke.
A healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mm HG. Previous studies have shown that each increase of 20/10 mm Hg in that number doubles the patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease. But lowering that top number just 5 mm HG can reduce your chances of dying from cardiovascular disease by about 7%. And eating more fruits and vegetables may be a good way to do that, according to the new study, published Monday in the scientific journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Many factors could be affecting the vegetarians’ blood pressure. Vegetarian diets are often lower in sodium and saturated fats, while being higher in fiber and potassium.
Vegetarians also tend to have lower body mass indexes because fruits and vegetables are less energy dense – meaning you can eat more of them for fewer calories.
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