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Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/whole-grain-foods/AN02075
- With Mayo Clinic emeritus hypertension specialist
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.read biographyclose window
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.Sheldon Sheps, M.D.
Dr. Sheldon Sheps, emeritus professor of medicine and former chair of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1960.
Dr. Sheps, a Winnipeg, Manitoba, native, is board certified in internal medicine and specializes in hypertension and peripheral vascular diseases. He developed a multidisciplinary approach with specially trained nurses, dietitians, technicians and educators to help form a team approach to the treatment of patients with abnormal blood pressure.
"I have always believed in involving the patient and family in their health care," Dr. Sheps says. "I have asked for their understanding of the illness and issues and for participation in decisions. The Web is a natural extension of that, and now many more people can be informed."
Dr. Sheps chaired the sixth working group, and he participated in the fourth, fifth and seventh groups that developed the then-latest guidelines for hypertension under the auspices of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). He helped write the latest American Heart Association (AHA) report on blood pressure measurement. He chaired an AHA group that produced an online accreditation for blood pressure measurement for health professionals.
Dr. Sheps has co-authored books, newsletters, CD-ROMs and other Mayo Clinic health information material. He joined Mayo Clinic's Web team in 1998. He was medical editor-in-chief of both editions of the "Mayo Clinic on High Blood Pressure" book; the last edition was published in 2003. He was also medical editor-in-chief of "Mayo Clinic 5 Steps to Controlling High Blood Pressure," published in 2008.
In addition, Dr. Sheps was section editor for each of the first three editions of "Hypertension Primer" for the American Heart Association.
Dr. Sheps was also chairman of the Science Base Subcommittee and the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, and he was a consultant to the Hypertension Initiative of the World Health Organization. In 1997, he was honored with the Individual Achievement Award on the 25th anniversary of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program of NHLBI. In 2009, he was honored as a Distinguished Mayo Alumnus.
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Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
Can eating more whole-grain foods help lower my blood pressure?
from Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.
It might. Eating more whole-grain foods on a regular basis may help reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure (hypertension).
Whole grains are grains that include the entire grain kernel — they haven't had their bran and germ removed by refining. Whole-grain foods are a rich source of healthy nutrients, including fiber, potassium, magnesium and folate. Eating more whole-grain foods offers many health benefits that can work together to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure by:
- Aiding in weight control, since whole-grain foods can make you feel full longer
- Increasing your intake of potassium, which is linked to lower blood pressure
- Decreasing your risk of insulin resistance
- Reducing damage to your blood vessels
If you already have high blood pressure, eating more whole-grain foods might help lower your blood pressure and possibly reduce your need for blood pressure medication.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as part of an overall healthy diet, adults should eat at least 85 grams of whole-grain foods a day — that's about 3 ounces, or the equivalent of three slices of whole-wheat bread.Next question
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- Flint AJ, et al. Whole grains and incident hypertension in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;90:493.
- Wang L, et al. Whole- and refined-grain intakes and the risk of hypertension in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;86:472.
- Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Jonnalagadda SS, et al. Putting the whole grain puzzle together: Health benefits associated with whole grains - Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium. The Journal of Nutrition. 2011;141:1011.