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Sep 12, 2014 07:15 AM EDT

Protein-Rich Diets Lower High Blood Pressure Risk, Study

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Protein-rich diets lower the risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a Boston University School of Medicine study.

The researchers said that an average daily consumption of 100 g of protein lowered the risk of high blood pressure by 40 to 60 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three U.S. adults suffer from hypertension and 78.6 million are clinically obese. High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors of stroke and triggers several forms of heart disease, especially with excess body weight.

For the study, the researchers examined protein intakes of participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them over an 11-year period.

The researchers found that consumption of dietary protein, either from animal or plant sources, leads to lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up in both normal and overweight individuals. It also lowered long-term risks for HBP.

"These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP," said corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine, in a press release. "This growing body of research on the vascular benefits of protein, including this study, suggest we need to revisit optimal protein intake for optimal heart health."

The finding is published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

According to a recent University of Sydney study, high-protein diets also trigger weight loss by curbing appetite.

The researchers said that Paleo and Atkins diet plans - popular among celebrities like Robin Wright, Megan Fox, and Tim McGraw - promote weight loss better than calorie restriction. Paleo diet reduces belly fat and controls diabetes better than a low-fat diet

"We can use this information to help manage and prevent obesity, through ensuring that the diets we eat have a sufficient level of protein to satisfy our appetite," said Nutritional ecologist David Raubenheimer, who led the study, said in a press release.

The researchers said that the rise in obesity levels in the recent past is due to lower consumption of proteins and higher intake of carbs.

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