December 7, 2023

Healthy Choice

Healthy Choice The Only Solution

Dr Greger shares 1 simple step to reverse hypertension without medicine

High blood pressure diet plant based

What to eat to lower BP, save the heart?

Photo : iStock


  • High blood pressure kills by giving the sufferer heart disease.
  • With high blood pressure come a host of other risks.
  • Before any damage is done, it is best to consult your doctor and find ways to keep your BP healthy.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is called a silent killer. The symptoms are subtle in the beginning. They only get worse with time. Untreated hypertension is known to lead to a host of diseases by increasing one’s risk of developing kidney damage, lung damage, not mention heart damage and the threat of a brain stroke (haemorrhage or bleeding in the brain). These are just to name a few horrible things untreated high blood pressure can do to the patient’s body.

World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College London joint press release, the number of adults aged 30–79 years with hypertension has increased from 650 million to 1.28 billion in the last thirty years, according to the first comprehensive global analysis of trends in hypertension prevalence, detection, treatment and control published in The Lancet. Nearly half of these people did not know they had hypertension.

Dr Greger explains what we can do about the #1 cause of death and disability: our diet.

Dr Michael Greger has a simple, doable remedy:

Dr Michael Greger, MD – the founder of has written several books such as How Not to Die, The How Not to Die Cookbook, How Not to Diet, How to Survive a Pandemic, How Not to Diet Cookbook, etc.

His videos freely available on youtube bring out and explain the findings of the latest scientific studies and what they are saying about your favourite foods to help you make the healthiest choices for you and your family.

Dr Greger’s formula: Go whole-grain, plant-based with occasional non-veg, dairy, poultry!

High Blood pressure is not a natural consequence of ageing, Dr Greger reiterates. He shows numerous studies that show how many populations across the work that eat a plant-based diet had standard blood pressures equivalent to 110/70 mg/dl. He cites studies carried out in Africa and China among populations with nearly zero cases of atherosclerosis or heart disease. What was common about these vastly different sets of populations? Both communities were largely on a plant-based diet with meat as only an occasional indulgence limited to rare events like weddings, funerals, or celebrations.

Dr Greger cites a study among American college students who were widely on meat diets and had high blood pressure problems. He says that as the diet was changed to more plant-based platters and meat removed, blood pressure returned to normal and many of them who were on medication for high BP were weaned off their meds completely by their doctor – simply because they were not hypertensive anymore.

Plant-based includes milk, dairy, poultry?

No. That is a flexitarian diet. Dr Greger also mentions that even milk, dairy, fish, eggs, white meat – eaten regularly will add to hypertension. He does not ask one to completely give the food set up. But emphasises the vast benefits of going plant-based and whole-grain, eliminating processed (and certainly ultra-processed) foods if you want to remove the number one killer from your life.

What about the DASH Diet?

Dr Greger is not too happy with the fact that the DASH diet – meant to help hypertension patients healthy through the correct choice of foods – fails to go the whole hog. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (high blood pressure). The diet is simple:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  • Cut back on foods that are high in saturated, cholesterol, and trans fats
  • Eat more whole-grain foods, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Limit sodium, sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats

DASH diet recommendations stop short, Dr Greger feels at a ‘feel good’ point which is certainly not the best thing for patients. DASH diet still encourages the daily consumption of “Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings, and Meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or less daily servings” which should have been rare and occasional (near to zero) – for the sake of the health of the affected. He says it is time to get real and show genuine concern for the health of people than to soft-pedal diets that do not really work.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.