A healthy version of Chinese cuisine created by researchers to lower blood pressure

Chinese cuisine would have advantages against hypertension, as long as it is slightly modified, that is reduced in salt.

In a new study, published July 11, 2022 in the journal Traffic (Source 1), pertaining to the American Heart Association, Chinese researchers have developed a low-sodium Chinese cuisine and tested it on adults suffering fromhypertension. They then observed a significant drop in blood pressure levels.

Compared with the nutritional composition of the usual Chinese diet in urban China, our heart-healthy diet [à base de] traditional chinese food was halved in sodium, going from 6,000 mg per day to 3,000 mg per day, reduced in fat and doubled in dietary fiber. The [contenait également plus de] protein, [de] carbohydrates and [de] potassium”, explained the first author of the study, Yanfang Wang, a nutritionist and professor at the Clinical Research Institute of Peking University (China), in a press release (Source 2).

The study included 265 adults with an average age of 56 years and a systolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 130 mmHg. 52% were women, and nearly half were taking at least one blood pressure medication. For 28 days, 135 participants ate traditional Chinese food modified according to their regional culinary habits, while 130 followed their usual diet, which was quite high in salt. Blood pressure was measured before and after the cooking experience, and once a week during the study.

  • participants who followed the modified Chinese diet had low blood pressurewith systolic blood pressure reduced by an average of 10 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 3.8 mmHg, compared to the group that maintained the same diet.
  • in the modified diet group, calorie intake from carbohydrates (8%) and protein (4%) increased and from fat (11%) decreased. The consumption of fiber (14 grams), potassium (1,573 mg), magnesium (194 mg) and calcium (413 mg) increased, while sodium decreased (2,836 mg). The nutrient intake of the usual diet group was almost unchanged from the beginning to the end of the study;
  • the additional cost of the heart-healthy Chinese diet was about 4 Chinese renminbi (equivalent to 0.59 euros) more per day, per person, on average, compared to the usual local diet. What the participants considered low and generally affordable;
  • the hypotensive effect was constant in group participants subjected to modified traditional Chinese cuisine.

Less sodium, more potassium and fiber

According to the researchers, the antihypertensive effect of this revised and corrected Chinese diet would be significant and compatible with taking blood pressure medication. If sustained over time, the effects thus obtained could reduce the frequency of cardiovascular disease by 20%, the frequency of heart failure by 28%, and the risk of death from all causes by 13%.

Healthcare professionals should recommend a heart-healthy diet low in sodium and high in potassium, fiber, vegetables, and fruits as first-line treatment for their patients with hypertensionsays Yangfeng Wu, the researcher who led the study. “Because traditional Chinese food culture and cooking methods are often used wherever Chinese people live, I believe that a heart-healthy Chinese diet and the principles we used to develop the diet would also be helpful to Americans of Asian descent. China”, he added.

Whether one is of Chinese origin or just a fan of Chinese food, it would therefore be in our interest put your foot up on the salt when it comes to making this type of cuisine, why not start with use salt reduced in sodium and enriched in potassium, and flavor dishes with spices instead of salting them at the table.

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