Do not take this information as personal medical advice. Do not change your diet if you are ill or on medication without the advice of a qualified health care provider (your physician, for example). More detailed information is found in The McDougall Program - 12 Days to Dynamic Health (Plume 1990) in your bookstore.
Blood pressure rises naturally in response when your blood vessel system becomes "plugged up," medically referred to as "an increase in peripheral resistance to blood flow." The pressure rises in order to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues – this is the correct response for the body to take. The pharmaceutical industry's answer is to inhibit the natural mechanisms of the body, causing the pressure to fall. Unfortunately, this artificially reduced pressure does nothing to lower the risk for a heart attack and very little to reduce the chances of a stroke. Why? Because nothing helpful has been accomplished by the medication to improve the health of the blood vessels – the arteries remain fragile and ready to burst into a stroke or heart attack. Attacking the problem at the root cause – the rich Western diet – cleans up and strengthens the blood vessels, reduces the resistance to blood flow, and then the blood pressure falls naturally. In less than 2 weeks after a change to the McDougall Program, an average reduction of 23/14 mmHg can be experienced by people who begin with high blood pressure – 150/90 mmHg or greater – and blood pressure medications are stopped in most cases.
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