Yogurt may help prevent hypertension as part of a healthy diet.
According to "Diet and Nurtrition," Huifen Wang, PhD, of Tufts University in
Boston, and colleagues found people who ate at least the equivalent of one
serving every three days were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood
pressure than those who ate no yogurt at all. An even stronger effect was
seen among individuals who were not taking antihypertensive drugs, according
to their analysis of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort reported at
the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research meeting in
Washington, D.C.
"Yogurt is a nutrient-dense, low-fat dairy product," the group noted.
"Higher yogurt intake, as part of a healthy diet pattern, may be beneficial
for blood pressure control and hypertension prevention."
That finding reinforces the known role of low-fat dairy products in reducing
blood pressure, Rachel Johnson, PhD, RD, chair of the AHA nutrition
committee, said in an interview with "MedPage Today."
The association supports the DASH diet recommendation of two to three
servings of low-fat dairy per day.
"I would encourage my patients to choose fat-free or low-fat yogurt and to
watch the amount of added sugars that are in the yogurt to keep the calories
down," Johnson said. "However, when we talk about adding heart healthy foods
we always want to think about what will they replace in the diet, not
necessarily adding them on top of your existing diet in order to maintain a
healthy weight."