T Nation

Diet Contributing to High Blood Pressure


Afternoon chaps, (Sorry for the long post)

I'm sitting here whilst connected to a 24 hour blood pressure monitoring piece of kit. Judging by the readings I've witnessed over the last few hours, I'm going to average something around 145/80 by the time the doctor gets the kit back. In case I am then told I have high blood pressure, I'd like to be able to speak from a knowledgeable standpoint on my options.

So, I'm wondering, can the T-Nation masses offer any insight into my current eating regime and spot any glaring errors on my part that may be contributing to this problem?

Here's some info on me:
Age - 25
Weight training for 7 years, lots of general exercise before then.
BW - 99kg, approximately 14% BF
Training methods range from HP Mass to 5/3/1 and conditioning workouts.

Now onto the diet:
Monday - Friday
Meal 1 - 100g Oats, 200ml Organic semi-skimmed milk, 25g Reflex Instant Whey
Meal 2 - Kiwi, 25g nuts
Meal 3 - 100g Turkey, 200g Red potato, Celery, Onion, 3dsp Mayo
Meal 4 - Banana, 25g nuts
Meal 5 - Evening meal (usually 400g meat (chicken thighs (every other day skin removed), Turkey, Salmon, Organic beef), olive oil, 200g White rice, green veg such as Broccoli/kale/peas/cabbage)
Meal 6 - 80g Low fat cottage cheese, 2 Organic eggs, 10ml Fish oil

Saturday - Sunday
Meal 1 - 3 Organic eggs, 2 Bread rolls
Meal 2 - 25g Reflex Instant whey
Meal 3 - 100g Oats, 200ml Semi-skimmed milk
Meal 4 - 400ml Organic blueberry yogurt
Meal 5 - Evening meal (as above)
Meal 6 - 80g Low fat cottage cheese, 10ml Fish oil

Fluid intake - each day I consume 2 cups of black coffee (from ground) and 2 cups of green tea, in addition to 1.5lt water.

I have never smoked, and drink no more than 2 500ml bottles of cider per week.

If anyone can see something obvious I'm doing wrong please let me know, your help would be greatly appreciated!



Your diet is not giving you high blood pressure.


Although I see you are eating potato, banana, and nuts, you may need more potassium from food and/or a magnesium supplement. Also, you may need to drink more water (3L per day?).

[I am not a doctor.]


Overall, I think your diet is good. At your age, I doubt seriously your diet is contributing to your blood pressure. Do you have a family history of high blood pressure?

There is a book that I used for my diet, (and while I don't agree with everything in it... I don't believe in detoxing), I think it may help you. It is Dr Bergs "7 things you must do to lose fat", I altered the diet for me, basically I eat 120- 150 g of Protein a day, but have cut out as much sodium as possible and increased my consumption of foods high in potassium. (tomatoes, apples, blueberries, strawberries, baby spinach etc. No sugar, or foods high in sugar, no flour or processed foods, no alcohol.

My blood pressure was high, but mine is weight related, once I drop below 250 lbs it starts dropping back to normal levels.

Try to cut out the caffeine & booze.

Hope this helps..


I remember reading somewhere that only a fraction of high blood pressure cases are actually related to sodium intake. Like someone here already said, your diet may not be the problem, OP.

Obviously things like being overweight and inactive play a major role in most instances, but not in your case.

Do you have neck pain or stiffness at all? I remember reading that some high blood pressure can be related to a nerve impingement in the cervical spine. Once the impingement is treated, blood pressure returns to normal.

Also, even if the issue is not related to diet, certain foods may be helpful. Have you tried eating a few stalks of celery each day? I hear there is some natural compound in celery that lowers blood pressure. The same is apparently true about beet greens and stevia. In fact, stevia is apparently effective enough at lowering blood pressure that the government considered trying to keep it off the market for fear that some individuals whose blood pressure already tends to be low may have problems like dizziness if they start consuming a lot of stevia and their pressure drops even lower.


I do happen to have neck stiffness down the left side, but I've suspected for a while that's due to sleeping on my right each night. Its food for thought though..

I should probably intake my water intake regardless of my bp, so I'll have to sink a few more pints each day. It looks like Potassium might be a good shout too. I've done a bit of research since reading this and its mentioned in a few places, so I may also give that a go.

I eat a single celery stalk each day as it is, i see no reason to not bump this up and maybe introduce a few more veggies.

Ta for the suggestions guys


1) Your diets very clean, doubt its causing your hypertension.
2) Try cutting out coffee/ green tea for a day and monitor your BP, maybe your sensitive to the caffeine in them.
3) Salt sensitive hypertension is unlikely, do you add a lot of salt to your food?
4) What's your training like? Do you do any cardio?
5) Maybe it's the stress in your life... Meditation/ yoga/ massages can all help.


I second what Patrick has said on the cardio part, 99kg at 14% bf is quite a lot of mass to carry around (notice I say quite a lot, not a lot) and I think some ppl can carry that kind of lean mass around with much conditioning work some cant. and I think maybe upping the daily water intake isnt bad either, but in any case, u should wait for what the doc has to say.


I do not tend to add salt, and if I do its unbleached sea salt with trace minerals still present. As far as cardio goes, maybe this is another area I could improve upon. On a typical week I'll spend one 30min session on a cardio specific activity. I've always assumed that having short rest periods for the big lifts would equate as it certainly takes it out of me.

So far I've dropped a cup of coffee from my daily routine, added a further litre of water and planned for 2-3 20min good quality cardio periods per week. Adding additional nutrients will come this weekend.

Great timing on John Meadows blood article tonight! I've got my blood test results coming next week.


I just realized that thyroid can be an issue w/ bp. Not trying to alarm you, just something to look into.

For example, I have hypothyroidism, and have to make sure I get salt every day or my bp is too low.