Hello Chaseitstraight family!
It has been some time since my last post. I injured myself and caused sciatic nerve pain. That was not fun, but I am back and ready to go! So let's dive in to part 2 of this article by Dr. Mercola.
Hypertension: When Your Blood Pressure Is Too High
According to medical physiology textbooks, as much as 95 percent of hypertension is called
essential hypertension, meaning the underlying cause is unknown. From my perspective, this
simply isn’t true. As mentioned in the introduction to this special report, a number of factors
have been identified as contributing to high blood pressure.
In addition to those already listed, other triggers that can cause high blood pressure include:
• Alcohol use
• Sodium intake
• Lack of physical activity
• Psychosocial stress
Additionally, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can cause a rise in blood pressure,33 so it’s
important to address any sleep issues you have as part of your strategy to normalize your blood
I can’t stress enough, however, the important relationship between the level of insulin in your
body and your blood pressure readings. Remember: As your insulin level elevates, so does your
Keeping your insulin level in the healthy range is therefore of paramount importance to good
blood pressure readings. Efforts to control your insulin and leptin levels can also help address
the other hypertension triggers, such as lack of physical exercise and obesity.
Blood Pressure and Big Pharma
It’s important to understand that national guidelines for what constitutes high blood pressure or hypertension (HTN) and how it's treated are heavily influenced by drug companies.In fact, the two lead authors of the 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults for the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC) have a long list of affiliations with pharmaceutical companies that make blood pressure drugs.
There are dozens of different medications in 10 different classes of drugs to treat blood
pressure, and it’s important to note that the JNC’s reports are remarkable for its heavy
emphasis on drugs — more often than not, multiple drugs — for treating hypertension. Ace
inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta blockers and calcium channel blockers
are all listed as first lines of therapy in the guidelines, with the total recommended drug
1. Diuretics: increase urination, which reduces sodium and fluid in the body
2. Beta Blockers: work directly on the heart to reduce heart rate and force of pumping
3. ACE Inhibitors:decrease production of the hormone angiotensin,which reduces blood pressure
4. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: prevent angiotensin from binding to receptors in blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure
5. Calcium Channel Blockers: increase the strength and force of contractions in the heart, thus relaxing blood vessels and reducing heart rate
6. Alpha Blockers: dilate blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure
7. Alpha-2 Receptor Agonists: work on the central nervous system to lower blood pressure
8. Central Agonists: work directly in the central nervous system rather than the cardiovascular system
9. Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitors: work in the brain to block signals telling blood vessels to constrict
10. Vasodilators: relax artery wall muscles (usually prescribed only for very high blood pressure, together with other drugs).
The drugs your doctor prescribes for you depend on a number of different factors, including
whether you have a chronic kidney condition, heart failure or diabetes.
Unfortunately, alternative recommendations for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure
are barely mentioned, with insulin resistance not mentioned at all, in the JNC’s reports. While
Cleveland Clinic, ranked No. 1 in the nation for heart care, does note that insulin resistance
and insulin levels can lead to hypertension, it still doesn’t offer ideas for addressing insulin
resistance specifically to lower blood pressure.
In line with the JNC, the Clinic’s approach also concentrates on drug therapy and basic diet
The confounder here is that, despite years of intensive drug therapy on millions of patients, the
number of people with high blood pressure has now reached 1 billion worldwide, and the global
hypertension drug market is projected to be $32 billion a year by the end of 2020. In the last
25 years alone, people with systolic pressure of 140 or more grew by 18 percent, while deaths
due to high blood pressure increased by 51 percent. It’s obvious that all this drug treatment
simply isn’t working.
Prescription Drugs Are Not Your Best Choice
It should come as no surprise that the majority of conventional physicians apply a cookbook model
to treating hypertension, rather than treating the individual patient and addressing the underlying
causes, which have far more to do with lifestyle choices than unavoidable aging.
High blood pressure is in fact an easily treated condition, but one that can cause serious damage if it’s ignored.
As previously noted, drugs have not solved most people’s blood pressure problems — primarily
because in most cases, drugs are not the answer to this problem. Yet, with a seemingly endless
supply of drugs and drug combinations available with the flick of a pen across a prescription
pad, many doctors choose pharmaceutical interventions as opposed to taking the time to sit
down with you and discuss diet, exercise and insulin and leptin levels with you.
When it comes to stress, the connection between stress and high blood pressure is proven.
Unresolved stress issues are at least as significant to your health as poor diet and lack of
exercise. So, how is it that the Joint National Committee fails to so much as suggest stress
management as part of lifestyle modification?
Again, most doctors’ answer to stress problems is to turn to drugs and add a prescription or two
for antidepressants or even antipsychotics to your blood pressure drug regimen, even though
some studies show that antidepressants actually may add to your heart problems!
Blood Pressure Guidelines Are Designed to Create New Patients and
Up until the JNC changed its guidelines in 2003, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 was
considered normal. But with the 2003 changes, which were updated again in 2013, you were
now “normal” only if your blood pressure is below 120/80. And with these changes, 45 million
Americans “suddenly” had high blood pressure and were potential consumers of antihypertensive
drugs. This, despite the fact that there was absolutely no evidence that these new,
overnight blood pressure drug candidates were at risk for chronic high blood pressure.
Normalize Your Blood Pressure Naturally, for Life
The remainder of this special report will show you how to normalize your blood pressure for the
rest of your life without dangerous drugs.
The following information not only will help you bring your blood pressure under control, but will
optimize your overall health and the quality of your life in countless other exciting ways. You’ll
read about the importance of:
Eliminating two types of foods that are poison for most people, but especially if you have high blood pressure
Addressing insulin and leptin resistance
Balancing the omega fats in your diet
Normalizing your weight
Managing your emotional life
Drugging yourself with exercise
Appropriate sun exposure
Experimenting with supplements and other alternative tips for improving your blood pressure
Eliminate Grains and Sugars From Your Diet Right Now
If you are like most people with hypertension, you have insulin receptors that don’t work efficiently. This is a condition called insulin resistance (IR). To compensate, your body generates more insulin.
One of the most important dietary changes needed to improve high blood pressure is to
eliminate or dramatically reduce sugar and processed fructose from your diet. The easiest way
to do that is to replace processed foods with real, whole foods. This will address not only insulin
and leptin resistance, but also elevated uric acid levels.
Eating sugars and grains — including any type of bread, pasta, corn, potatoes or rice — will
cause your insulin levels to remain elevated. And since insulin stores magnesium, your insulin
receptors can’t work properly and subsequently passes the magnesium out of your body in your
urine, as opposed to going to your cells.
Magnesium stored in your cells relaxes muscles; if your magnesium level is too low, your blood
vessels will constrict rather than relax, which will raise your blood pressure and decrease your
Insulin also affects your blood pressure by causing your body to retain sodium. Sodium
retention causes fluid retention, which in turn causes high blood pressure, and can ultimately
lead to congestive heart failure.
It’s important to note that high sugar diets are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease
not only in adults, but children as well. For American adults, who consume as much as 25
percent or more of their total daily calories in added sugars, high levels of fructose in your diet
may predispose you to fast-onset hypertension, and regular consumption of sugar sweetened
beverages is associated with earlier death from cardiovascular disease.
It’s clear that eliminating sugars from your diet should be your No. 1 priority, whether you’re
getting those sugars from processed foods, in sugar-sweetened beverages or by adding them to
your foods and drinks yourself. When you eliminate or sharply reduce starches and grains as
well, you are on your way to achieving a healthy level of insulin in your bloodstream.
Again, the role insulin plays in high blood pressure cannot be overstated. Elevated insulin levels
are very toxic and can lead to devastating consequences to your health — including your blood
Other Dietary Considerations
1. Eat real food. A processed food diet, loaded with net carbohydrates (non-fiber carbs like
sugar, fructose and grains) and trans fats (margarines and vegetable oils) is a recipe for
hypertension. Instead, make whole, ideally organic foods the focus of your diet.
Also, remember to swap non-fiber carbs for healthy fats such as avocados, butter made
from raw, grass-fed organic milk, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil,
raw nuts such as pecans and macadamia, grass-fed meats and pasture-raised poultry.
My Optimal Nutrition Plan will turn your health around with my own Healthy Food
Pyramid, which limits grain and sugar intake and promotes healthy saturated fats. This
Nutrition Plan is divided into two levels: beginners and those who are looking for
extensive measures to promote health and healing.
2. Normalize your omega 6-to-3 ratio. Omega-3 is vital for healthy blood pressure.
Findings from a study of 2,000 healthy men and women between the ages of 25 and 41
showed that those with the highest serum levels of omega-3 also had the lowest blood
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential for your health. Most Americans,
however, are getting too much omega-6 in their diets and far too little omega-3.
Consuming omega-3 fats is one of the best ways to re-sensitize your insulin receptors if
you suffer from insulin resistance. It is also vital for healthy blood pressure.
You can obtain omega-3 fats from both plants and marine animals like fish and krill, but
it’s really important to realize that these sources provide very different types of omega-3,
and they are NOT interchangeable. You absolutely need animal-based omega-3, and
you simply cannot obtain all you need from plants.
3. Mind your sodium-to-potassium ratio. The key here is managing your diet as a whole,
rather than concentrating on simply reducing your sodium (salt) intake. This means
avoiding processed foods of all kinds because they often have high levels of hidden
sodium in them, and switching to whole foods.
Most people actually need more potassium, calcium and magnesium to balance their
sodium intake, which then will help maintain a proper sodium-to-potassium ratio.
4. Load up on veggies. Juicing is a simple way to increase the amount of vegetables in
your diet. Beets, kale, celery, spinach and carrots are all excellent for this purpose.
Adding allicin-rich garlic, leeks, shallots and chives also will help improve your blood
pressure, and are easy to add to your salads and side dishes.
5. Lower your uric acid levels. You can do this naturally by eliminating sugars (fructose)
from your diet, limiting alcohol, staying hydrated and eating modest portions of
inflammation-fighting foods like pineapple, cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Tart
cherry juice and apple cider vinegar can also fight inflammation while lowering your
body’s uric acid levels.
6. Some people may need to eliminate caffeine. The connection between coffee
consumption and high blood pressure is not well understood, but there is ample
evidence to indicate that if you have hypertension, coffee and other caffeinated drinks
and foods may exacerbate your condition.
Normalize Your Weight
If you are overweight, have diabetes, already have high blood pressure or are at risk for developing hypertension, it’s crucial to your health and longevity that you normalize your weight.
Long-established studies show that even a modest weight loss, when maintained, can reduce blood
pressure long-term. The key is to keep the weight off because your blood pressure will likely go back up right along with any weight you regain.
The best way to optimize your weight and regain or improve your health is to first understand
the profound influence the foods you eat have on your physiology.
Three very important things to keep in mind:
Food is fuel
You are unique in terms of the type of fuel your body needs for optimal health
You absolutely must address insulin and leptin resistance to successfully normalize your
If you’re overweight or obese and want to lose some weight, you may be wondering where to
start, and that’s where insulin and leptin resistance come in. Most overweight Americans have
some degree of insulin and leptin resistance.
Generally, this is a metabolic dysfunction that develops as a result of consuming too many net
carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and/or protein. Sugars found in processed foods and
grains are the primary culprits. So, to reverse this process, you need to eliminate net carbs and
sugars from your diet and eat a high-quality fat, low-carbohydrate and low- to moderate-protein
This can help you achieve “nutritional ketosis,” a metabolic state in which your body burns fat,
rather than glucose, as its primary fuel. The key to success with a ketogenic diet high-fat diet is
to eat high-quality healthy fats, not the fats most commonly found in the American diet
(processed fats and vegetable oils).
To implement a ketogenic diet, the first step is to eliminate packaged, processed foods and
replace them with real whole food, plenty of fats and as few grains as possible. Healthy fats
include olives and olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, animal-based omega-3 fat such as krill oil
and small fatty fish like sardines and anchovies, butter from raw grass-fed milk, raw nuts such
as macadamia and pecans, seeds, avocados, grass-fed meats, ghee (clarified butter) and
organic pastured egg yolks.
You can learn more about a ketogenic diet and its health benefits by reading my articles. Remember: One of the most important dietary recommendations is to limit net carbs
(total carbohydrates minus fiber) and protein, replacing them instead with higher amounts of
high-quality healthy fats.
Also helpful is intermittent fasting, which can increase your insulin and leptin sensitivity and
improve ghrelin levels, which help control hunger and reduce the urge to overeat. This is NOT a
form of extreme calorie restriction; rather, it’s a practice with typical fast time ranging from 14 to
Learn to Manage Your Emotional Stress
The link between stress and hypertension has been well-documented for decades. Stress can even induce sodium and fluid retention, which ultimately can manifest as hypertension. Doctors and health care professionals committed to treating the whole person rather than a list of physical symptoms are well aware of these crucial mind-body connections.
Especially important is the link between stress and behaviors that stress can initiate or
exacerbate, such as smoking, physical activity and overeating or drinking too much — all of
which can lead to metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
When you are stressed — whether from an emergency situation, suppressed negative emotions
such as fear, anger and sadness, an ongoing chronic stress issue or even work stress50 — your
adrenaline levels rise and, combined with chronic bad health habits, your blood pressure can
The good news is that it’s not the stressful events that are harmful, but your lack of ability to
cope. Technology does exist to quickly and effectively transform your negative emotions and
relieve stress and tension.
Managing Stress With Your Breath, Mindfulness and EFT
Clearly, stress is an inescapable part of life — but it’s important to understand that it is how you
deal with it that will determine whether it translates into hypertension or other health problems
later on. The trick is to develop resilience by learning how to deal with stress.
There are many breathing techniques that can help you slow your heart rate and ultimately your
blood pressure. Learning to breathe correctly can improve your overall feeling of calmness, as
well as balance your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous symptoms.
Mindfulness training — which focuses on being present in the moment — is another strategy
that can be very helpful. In fact, one study showed that people who participated in 10
mindfulness sessions over the course of one month experienced “significantly decreased” levels
of stress, anxiety and depression.
Another study showed that blood pressure levels were effectively lowered by mindfulness-based
stress reduction. Mindfulness meditation, in which you consciously focus your attention on
specific thoughts or sensations, and then observe them in a non-judgmental way, is also helpful.
Last but not least, energy psychology techniques such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques
(EFT) can be very effective for targeted stress relief by helping you to reprogram your body’s
reactions to the unavoidable stressors in everyday life.
Use Exercise as a Drug
It’s no secret that regular physical activity is a far better drug than anything a pharmaceutical company can manufacture, as are the “side effects” of exercise. Regardless of the primary reason you start an exercise program, your efforts will be rewarded in countless other ways.
A rigorous comprehensive exercise program seems to be very important in producing long-term benefits in people with high blood pressure.
Depending on your physical condition when you embark on an exercise program, you may need
to consult with a health care professional who can design a fitting program for you, with intensity
levels appropriate to your capabilities.
It’s important to have a target intensity level that will make a difference in lowering your insulin
levels. As a general rule, weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging and running are best.
Studies also indicate that aerobic activities like these — which increase your heart and
breathing rates — are most beneficial for lowering blood pressure.
Admittedly, some people don’t have time to spend 45 minutes or more in a gym or working out.
That’s why short, intense workouts like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are so popular.
While it was once believed that the longer you stayed on a treadmill or elliptical machine, the
better, it’s now known that you can seriously maximize your fitness results while working out for
a fraction of the time, as long as you sufficiently ramp up the intensity, interspersed with periods
The HIIT approach I personally use and recommend is the Peak Fitness method, which consists
of 30 seconds of maximum effort followed by 90 seconds of recuperation, for a total of eight
repetitions. I also recommend super slow weight lifting for your resistance training. The HIIT type of aerobics can be performed in seven minutes, making it an easy way to address blood pressure problems. Coupled with strength training, you can quite easily get in shape while noticeably lowering your blood pressure.
Another note: One way to maximize the benefits of HIIT is to incorporate variable-intensity
interval training (VIIT) into your routine. VIIT consists of low, medium and high-intensity
segments that can include a wide variety of exercise ranging from agility and strength to high
intensity functional movements.
So, if you are insulin resistant, you’ll definitely want to find time for weight training as well. When
you work the individual muscle groups, you increase blood flow to those muscles. Good blood
flow will increase your insulin sensitivity.
Again, a lot of information to consume, digest and appropriate, but I hope you find value in this writing. Coming up... part 3!
I am with you and in your corner!
Even more importantly, to keep your blood pressure low, you need to exercise regularly