Health Advice



Pick your proteins to protect yourself from high blood pressure

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Hall of Famers Nat Holman and Barney Sedran played basketball in the 1910s, '20s and '30s. They're credited with developing the pick and roll -- a move in which a player sets a pick for a teammate handling the ball and then moves toward the basket (rolls) to receive a pass.

They knew the best way to get good game results was to make smart picks. The same applies to preventing high blood pressure. You gotta pick smart. That's the conclusion of a study in Hypertension. Researchers examined the relationship between your risk for high blood pressure and eating protein from eight major food sources: whole and refined grain, processed and unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, egg and legumes. Study participants with the highest variety score had a 66% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. And moderate protein consumption was the most beneficial; folks who ate the least amount of total protein and those who ate the most protein had the highest risk for new onset of high blood pressure. As for how much of your calorie intake should be from red and processed meats: 0.5% and 0% were optimal. Eggs came in at 0%, too.

So mix it up with plant-based protein from whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and animal protein from fish and poultry; and add in low- or no-fat dairy. Don't overdo any one source. To figure out how many grams of protein per day you need, multiply your weight in pounds times 0.36 or try the online calculator at; search for DRI Calculator.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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