When an obese or overweight person loses weight after taking keto, their blood pressure generally improves as well. This does not mean that keto will improve all cases of high blood pressure. But in some cases, it may be part of the solution. Before we talk more about keto and hypertension, let’s cover some basics.
What is Blood Pressure?
When your heart beats, it pumps blood throughout our bodies, providing it with the oxygen and energy it needs. As blood is pumped, it flows through your blood vessels and is pushed against the walls of your blood vessels, which creates pressure in your blood vessels. The intensity of this pressure makes up your blood pressure. This blood pressure, if too high, can put more pressure on your blood vessels, which can then lead to heart attacks, bleeding or kidney problems. Blood pressure is measured with a device called a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure is measured in two parameters, systole and diastole. Systole is the blood pressure when the heart is beating and diastole is the blood pressure when the heart is relaxing between adjacent beats. It is denoted as systolic/diastolic.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
One-third of Americans have high blood pressure, which (also known as hypertension) is a well-documented risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure also damages the delicate microvasculature in the brain, increasing the risk of dementia.
What causes high blood pressure? This is where things get tricky. In most cases, researchers aren’t sure.
That’s why most cases of hypertension are referred to as ” primary hypertension” or “essential hypertension. There is no identifiable reason for this.
But even if the mechanisms are not fully understood, risk factors for hypertension remain. And probably the most important one is obesity.
When a person is obese, they tend to have higher levels of chronic inflammation (chronic inflammation is defined as unwanted, damaging immune activity). This immune activity, in turn, causes hormonal disruptions that may raise blood pressure.
Along with obesity, other risk factors for hypertension include:
- Smoking cigarettes
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Genetic factors
- Short sleep
- Electrolyte imbalances (too little potassium or too much sodium)
- A diet high in refined carbohydrates
How might Keto Help with High Blood Pressure?
For most people, a good solution may be to change their dietary lifestyle. Diet has an impact on everything related to your health. Most people claim that their blood pressure levels have been stabilized on a keto diet. And many have seriously reversed their poor blood pressure levels. A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet. Not to mention that the fats you consume on a keto diet are healthy fats. The keto diet and low-carb diet help you choose the right foods according to your body’s requirements.
The ketogenic diet is a successful tool for monitoring high blood pressure. Reducing carbohydrates may be a compelling means of monitoring hypertension and prehypertension. What is more clear is that:
• Keto diets are more successful than high-carb regimens when it comes to lowering blood pressure. The ketogenic diet not only helps you lose weight, but also helps you address other health parameters such as type II diabetes, ovarian cancer, blood pressure management, skin and hair care, and more.
• A ketogenic Mediterranean-style diet with lots of healthy fats, fish and vegetables may be good, especially when it comes to fighting blood pressure.
• A low-carb diet helps you reduce sugar. By following a low-sugar diet will help you automatically lower your insulin levels. These lower insulin help you lower your blood pressure.
Possible Risks of Keto for Blood Pressure
In general, the data suggest that keto may help lower blood pressure. But in a few cases, it may not.
For example, a dirty keto diet can lack potassium (from vegetables) to offset the high sodium load from salty processed meats. And too much sodium without enough potassium can raise blood pressure.
Too little sodium can also raise blood pressure. (Low sodium is common in keto because low-carb diets increase urinary sodium loss). When you don’t consume enough sodium, your body releases a sodium-retaining, blood pressure-raising hormone called aldosterone.
As always, work with a medical professional to monitor and manage your blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure and don’t want to take medication (or wish to supplement your medication), a ketogenic diet may be a good option, along with regular exercise. Remember to consult your doctor before completely changing your diet.