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Eat Sustainable Food to Combat High Blood Pressure

New York, NY – Eating sustainable, pasture-raised and organic foods is an easy way to combat the dangerously high blood pressure researchers have found in more Americans than ever before. That's because meat from pasture-raised animals is lower in calories and saturated fat than animals produced in factory farms.

"On factory farms, animals are overfed meal, grains and unsavory by-products to make them gain weight as quickly as possible," said Alice Slater, President of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE). "As a result of this gorging, factory farmed meat has a much higher fat content."

By raising animals on grasses and greens that their bodies are naturally adapted to eat, sustainable farmers can offer leaner cuts of meat. A growing body of scientific research has documented that meat from pasture-raised animals is lower in calories and "bad" omega-6 fats and contains more of the "good" omega-3 fats that help fight disease and lower blood pressure. Free range chickens, for instance, have 21% less total fat and 30% less saturated fat than their factory-farmed counterparts. Eggs from poultry raised on sustainable farms have 10% less total fat and nearly 400% more omega-3 than eggs from factory-farms.

And lower saturated fat intake helps combat high blood pressure. Saturated fat increases the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL), which tend to stick to the walls of arteries. When this fatty buildup enlarges and becomes hardened with minerals, such as calcium, it forms plaque. Plaque stiffens and narrows the arteries causing blood pressure to rise.

"Switching to a diet of sustainably-raised meat may be the simplest way to lower saturated fat without making significant changes in lifestyle," notes Slater. "And with more stores offering sustainably-raised meat, dairy and eggs, it couldn't be easier to make the switch."

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