Adding more yogurt to your diet without increasing the number of calories you eat may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
A recent study found long-term yogurt-eaters were less likely to develop high blood pressure and on average had lower systolic blood pressure than those who didn’t eat yogurt. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. It measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart is beating.
During the 15 year study, researchers followed more than 2,000 volunteers who did not have high blood pressure at the start of the study. Yogurt consumption was measured by questionnaires filled out by the volunteers at three intervals over the study period. Study participants were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure if at least 2 percent of their daily calories came from yogurt, which would be like eating at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days. In addition, their systolic blood pressure increased less than that of people who didn’t eat yogurt.
The study was funded by the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and by a research grant from the Dannon Company, Inc.