Does Eating Meat Cause High Blood Pressure?

In yet another installment of my series examining the supposed health detriments of eating meat we move to the topic of high blood pressure. I’ve heard people claim that meat gives you high blood pressure (usually citing some epidemiological studies on vegetarians with low blood pressure to support it). Since high blood pressure is associated with and appears to play a role in cardiovascular disease, including stroke (1) this would be bad for the meat eaters. Well, let’s give a quick run through of some controlled trials to see how true this theory is. Continue reading

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Monounsaturated Fat Versus Saturated Fat: Nutrition Cage Match

To my knowledge there exist no controlled dietary trials lasting long enough for us to know how swapping monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil) and saturated fats (e.g. butter) affects death from and incidence of various diseases. So once again let’s scope some suggestive short term findings: Continue reading

Blood Viscosity and Health

Viscosity is the resistance of a liquid to movement. Think water versus honey, honey being very viscous. Turns out a number of things can make the blood flowing through our bodies more or less viscous.

Some possible causes of increased blood viscosity are dehydration [1], psychological stress [2], cold temperatures [3][4], heat stroke [5], increased hematocrit (serum red blood cell) levels [6], hyperglycemia [7], increased triglycerides and chylomicrons in the blood [8], and perhaps exposure to air pollution [9] and tobacco smoke [10]. Continue reading