Thursday, September 29, 2011

What I Eat: The September Edition

I started the What I Eat Series in May and am keeping the monthly tradition going [1, 2, 3]!  As you will see below, the adjustments from my post about the 12 lb. weight loss have stuck and I continue to love both the foods and the effects [4].


7:30 AM: Three eggs scrambled with sugar plum tomatoes
10:30 AM: Large bowl of mixed greens with carrots, salmon, olive oil, and lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1 PM: Banana
3:30 PM: A few pieces of grilled chicken with a fruit salad (pineapple, honeydew, grapes, and watermelon)
10 PM: Two cans of sardines and a kiwi


9 AM: Three eggs scrambled and an apple
12 PM: Large bowl of baby romaine lettuce with carrots, salmon, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt (stay tuned for more on salt!)
3 PM: Banana
8:30 PM: Salmon over spinach and topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar


8:30 AM: Three hard-boiled eggs with a banana
4 PM: Organic beef jerky and a kiwi
7:00 PM: Chopped meat on baby romaine lettuce, topped with olive oil and salt

Salt Reduction vs. Effective Hypertension Approaches

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for heart disease.  Salt consumption is often connected with high blood pressure.  My previous conclusion on salt was that it does cause a small increase in blood pressure, but that increase is not significant enough to cause normal levels to become high [5]. Speaking of which, Gerard Reaven, a researcher at Stanford University Medical Center, stated the following about salt in a research review [6]:

The fact that insulin has been shown to acutely regulate renal sodium and water metabolism in a manner that could raise blood pressure does not prove that these phenomena occur chronically or that they play a role in the etiology of hypertension.

Translation: salt's effect on blood pressure doesn't necessarily last, nor is it sure to be a cause of high blood pressure.  Reaven goes on to say that patients with hypertension are "insulin resistant, hyperglycemic, and hyperinsulinemic."  In most cases, hypertension is likely an effect of one or several of these other conditions. Basically, the issues are having excess blood sugar, insulin, and cells that won't take the sugar that insulin is trying to remove from the blood.

While I'm not recommending this in lieu of a doctor's advice, I believe an isolated hypertension treatment (salt reduction or blood pressure meds) is not nearly as effective as a plan to address the underlying issues of insulin and blood sugar problems.  Address those root causes - lift weights, do some high intensity interval training, reduce carbs like grains and sugar - and the blood pressure will take care of itself. 

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