The Atkins Diet is one of the oldest and most popular low-carb solutions. Developed in the 1970s, the Atkins Diet has stood the test of time, helping thousands upon thousands of people combat weight-control issues through carbohydrate restriction. But what about the effect of the Atkins Diet on high blood pressure? For those wondering if the Atkins Diet is the right solution to combat your blood pressure problems, wonder no more.
About the Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is a fully-fledged low-carb dieting solution. Unlike other diets that only restrict certain types of carbs, Atkins mandates that dieters on its program ingest no more than 20 grams of carbs per day for the first few weeks. This makes Atkins a ketogenic diet, whereby the body begins to use fat instead of glucose for fuel.
How Atkins Combats High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a measurement commonly used to assess health by determining how hard the heart is working to pump blood throughout your body. The less strain placed on the heart at any time, the better. Atkins, and other low-carb programs, facilitate rapid improvement in high blood pressure by triggering fast and sustainable weight loss. As body weight decreases, the heart is placed under far less strain to supply blood throughout, decreasing blood pressure.
A 1999 study by Heilbronn, Noakes, and Clifton demonstrated that 12 weeks on a high-protein diet like Atkins caused a reduction in insulin levels, blood sugar and blood pressure. This buttresses the assertions of Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who initially marketed his diet as one that would positively affect a dieter's blood pressure.
How Does It Work?
Beyond just weight loss causing a decrease in resting blood pressure, low-carb diets can also keep blood pressure in check by controlling insulin levels. Elevated insulin levels, as triggered by eating high-carbohydrate meals, have been shown to relate to increases in blood pressure. By keeping blood sugar and insulin in check, Atkins has the residuary effect of keeping blood pressure under control as well.
While Atkins can help you to control your high blood pressure, remember that the positive changes brought about by low-carb eating will revert upon abandonment of the plan. Understand that low-carb eating is a lifestyle, and that you cannot use Atkins as a band-aid to mitigate otherwise unhealthy habits. But when Atkins is used in a sensible and continuous plan for long-term health, it can certainly make blood pressure issues a thing of the past.