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It almost sounds too good to be true, but a diet which includes huge steaks, blocks of low-fat cheese or lots of hummus can actually be good for you.
A study has revealed that people who eat a diet higher in protein than the average person has a lower risk of having high blood pressure than those who consume less.
An American research team has found that people who consumed around 102 grams of protein a day had a whopping 40% lower risk of developing high blood pressure than people who consumed the 102g amount.
102 grams of pure protein is about the same as four beef steaks, ten tins of chickpeas or five chicken breasts.
Researchers studied male and female subjects for over eleven years, collecting and analysing dietary information for over 16,000 days’ worth of food diaries. They found that higher protein eaters were more likely to be male, tall, but weighed less, and lower protein eaters tended to eat fewer calories overall but had lower intakes of fibre, fruit and vegetables – other key ingredients to a balanced diet.
There has always been a delicate balance between protein and your cardiovascular health. Nuts can be a great source of protein, and so are good for lowering blood pressure and improving your heart’s health, but once they are mixed with sugar, fat and salt they can suddenly become awfully fattening.
Don’t think that this new research means that eating steak four times a week is a great way of bringing your blood pressure down, either. It’s also been shown that having an unhealthy amount of red meat can lead to high levels of saturated fat being consumed, leading to an increase in the amount of bad cholesterol within your body.
Instead, scientists recommend combining a high-protein diet with high fibre which can lead to a 51% drop in the risk of developing high blood pressure, and also helps lower high blood pressure within individuals who already have the condition.