People would not be wrong in saying that they consume a lot of plant-based food when they choose refined grains, fruit juices and potato chips as part of their regular nutritional intake. All three “foods” originally came from plant sources. But each has been modified into processed food.
Beneficial nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals are removed from refined grains that end up as white flour, white bread, white rice, etc. Fruit juices are high in sugar and low in fiber, so there’s an imbalance in what whole fruit provides. As for potato chips . . . well, no need to go any deeper, even with the tasty selection of so-called natural chips. You won’t find refined grains, fruit juices or potato chips in nature’s bounty.
The point is that not all plant-based food is healthy. And that matters when aiming for a primarily plant-based diet.
The Pressure of It All
Interestingly enough, many studies conducted on consuming healthy sources of plant-based food have revealed significant benefits for cardiovascular health. But none of the research looked specifically at blood pressure benefits until recently.
In July 2020, the open-access journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health published wide-ranging research that examined the eating habits of over 4,600 men and women from China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The ages of the participants ranged from 40 to 59 years old.
The idea was to compare three plant-based diet indices—overall plant-based, healthy and unhealthy. The healthy plant-based diet included vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, vegetable oils, tea and coffee. The unhealthy plant-based intake allowed refined grains, fruit juices, sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts. Each was examined in relation to individual country’s dietary guidelines so that the study would encompass a diversity of eating patterns.
The focus was to measure the effects of each diet on blood pressure. It is interesting to note that the majority of the participants ate meat but in varying amounts, the lower the better: limit of 100 grams daily, which is about one fifth of a pound of T-bone steak.
You can probably guess which diet worked the best. The results revealed that a healthy plant-based diet was associated with lower blood pressure, the opposite was true of those consuming an unhealthy plant-based diet. It all boils down to the importance of quality.
Plant Food Quality Matters
Choosing high-quality plant sources of food means you are going to consume beneficial nutrients that contribute to good health. Conversely, you’re not going to get much nutritional value from buns made with refined plant-based ingredients such as white flour and sugar, tasty though they may be.
Fortunately, the days of bland vegetarian food are in the past as is the vegetarian look. The incredibly tasty meals that can be made with vegetables rival the juiciest burgers on the planet. And once again, according to this extensive study on plant-based diets and blood pressure, you don’t have to be exclusively vegetarian or vegan.
Supplement Quality Matters
When you choose supplemental nutrition to enrich your diet, it is equally important to make choices of quality. That is the AIM commitment: providing high-quality whole-food powders and supplements that add high-quality nutrition to your healthy food intake. Whether it’s the barley leaf juice powder in BarleyLife, the protein from peas in ProPeas or the essential fatty acids from organic seed oils in AIMega, you get high-quality, plant-based nutrition with AIM.
The AIM Companies has been dedicated to improving the quality of people’s lives with life-changing products like BarleyLife and Herbal Fiberblend and by rewarding passionate Members with a free-enterprise compensation plan.