The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, which traditionally includes chicken and fish, was equally effective at lowering BP when lean, unprocessed pork was substituted as the primary protein source, according to recent study data.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet emphasizes increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, poultry and fish, and calls for reduced intakes of fats, red meats including pork, sodium and added sugars, according to the study background. The researchers compared whether the consumption of lean pork as opposed to chicken and fish as the predominant protein source in a DASH-style diet would affect BP control in men and women with elevated BP.
They conducted a randomized crossover study in 13 women and six men (mean age, 61 years; mean BMI, 31.2 kg/m2) with elevated BP (mean systolic BP, 130 mm Hg; mean diastolic BP, 85 mm Hg).
All participants consumed a DASH-style diet during two 6-week controlled interventions, with a 4-week washout period between interventions, with either lean pork or chicken and fish as the major protein source, defined as 55% of total protein intake. The researchers measured systolic and diastolic BP 3 days before and 3 days after each dietary intervention.
Wayne W. Campbell
Pre-intervention manual BP (pork group, 130 mm Hg/84 mm Hg; chicken/fish group, 129 mm Hg/84 mm Hg) and post-intervention manual BP (pork group, 122 mm Hg/79 mm Hg; chicken/fish group, 123 mm Hg/78 mm Hg) were similar between the groups, according to Wayne W. Campbell, PhD, professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and colleagues.
They found that consumption of both diets for 6 weeks reduced all measures of BP (P < .05), and there were no differences in BP responses between the groups.
“This study supports that the DASH diet can include lean, unprocessed red meats in the appropriate serving sizes,” Campbell said in a press release, noting that the serving size in the study was 3 oz.
He said in the release that the results apply only to cuts of unprocessed lean pork such as tenderloin and fresh, uncured ham trimmed of visible fat, and cannot be extrapolated to other pork products with higher salt and fat content. – by Erik Swain
Disclosure: The study was funded in part by the National Pork Board. Campbell reports receiving funding from the National Pork Board.