Red meat, processed meat, fish and sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of hypertension whilst whole grains, fruits, nuts, legumes and dairy reduce the risk

In May 2017 researchers from Germany and Austria published their review of the medical scientific literature to assess the relationship between the consumption of 12 major food groups and risk of hypertension. A total of 28 studies investigating the association between whole grains, refined grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy, fish, red meat, processed meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages and the risk of hypertension were included in the analysis. Results showed that whole grains 30g/day, fruits 100g/day, nuts 28g/day, legumes 100g/day and dairy 200g/day were associated with a reduced risk of hypertension whereas red meat 85g/day, processed meat 30g/day, fish 100g/day and sugar sweetened beverages 250ml/day increased the risk.  No association was seen with refined grains, vegetables and eggs and the risk of hypertension.  A further analysis revealed that red meat (1 serving/day), processed meat (1 serving/day), fish (1 serving/day), and sugar sweetened beverages (2 servings/day) increased the risk of hypertension by 42%, whereas non-consumption of these foods reduced the risk by 33%. It should be noted that the quality of evidence was considered very low to low but that these findings support the current dietary guidelines in the prevention of hypertension.

Schwingshackl L et al.Food Groups and Risk of Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Adv Nutr. 2017 Nov 15;8(6):793-803; plus Adv Nutr. 2018 Mar; 9(2): 163–164

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