The Hypertension Diet: A Holistic Approach to Lowering Blood Pressure

Fun Fact: High blood pressure in America is now just as common as owning a cat. 

According to recent statistics, 1 out of 3 Americans has high blood pressure, which is the same percentage of cat owners in the country.  Considering just how life-threatening high blood pressure can be, that’s pretty serious!

Let’s compare that to traditional hunter-gatherer populations who have very low incidences of high blood pressure, only 3%. And listen to this, in situations where those hunter-gatherers adopted our Western diet, the rates of high blood pressure skyrocketed! 

That alone is strong evidence to suggest that hypertension is a disease of unhealthy, modern life choices:

  • Diets high in processed food, sugar and inflammatory oils
  • Sitting for the majority of the day
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lack of sun exposure
  • Excessive caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco
  • Work, Financial, and Relationship stress
  • Overstimulation from screens and blue light
  • Minimal time in nature



‘Hypertension’ is the fancy term for consistently high blood pressure.  If you have hypertension, your heart is pumping as if it’s training for a marathon… high intensity day long. Your blood vessels struggle to contain the pressure and over time it can lead to damage and breakdowns.

It’s like when you’re watering your garden and the hose has too much pressure. Over time, it starts to crack and weaken from the inside, you might not even realize the damage being done until the hose bursts and you’re left with a flooded yard.

This increased pressure can cause your arteries to thicken or harden in an attempt to repair the cracks. Cholesterol is the substance that the body makes and uses to patch up those cracks and this is why many people with high blood pressure also have high cholesterol.  

But don’t be so quick to point fingers at cholesterol for causing hypertension. It’s been unfairly accused of something it didn’t do, taking the blame for a problem it didn’t create.

It’s similar to blaming the sealant used to repair cracks in a hose for increasing its pressure, rather than the cracks themselves. In the same way, cholesterol is merely reacting to the damage to artery walls caused by inflammation, insulin resistance, and stress. To effectively address hypertension, it’s crucial to identify and tackle the root causes, rather than simply targeting cholesterol levels. 

While the topic of high cholesterol is worthy of an entire blog or book itself (like this one), it’s crucial to recognize that high cholesterol is not the root cause of the issue. It’s a secondary response to the initial issue of chronic high pressure which causes the blood vessels to wear out and weaken.

The question that Western medicine often fails to address is… what is causing the high pressure and cholesterol in the first place?



Inflammation has long been identified as the most significant contributor to high blood pressure. 

When the body experiences inflammation, it responds by releasing substances that can constrict blood vessels and crank up blood pressure. 

And what can trigger this inflammatory process, you ask?  

  • Stressful situations
  • Diets high in sugar, processed foods, and grains
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Circadian rhythm disruption
  • Medications
  • Chronic injuries or infections
  • Overstimulation from electronics and EMFs (cell phones, wifi, ‘smart homes’, computers, bluetooth headphones, etc). 

Although acute stress may trigger an inflammatory response that helps us cope with the situation (running away from a potential threat), chronic inflammation is like a house party that never ends. This persistent inflammation can lead to serious damage to the lining of our blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow smoothly through them and increasing the pressure even more. 

Inflammation is not typically caused by a single factor, but rather by an accumulation of various sources of inflammation that put the body into overdrive. This means that resolving inflammation requires a multi-faceted approach, which often involves adjustments to diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors.

By taking a comprehensive approach to managing inflammation, you can optimize your overall health and reduce your risk of developing hypertension-related complications.



Even if your blood pressure is in the prehypertension stage, it’s your body’s way of flashing the check engine light on your dashboard — it’s telling you that it’s time to pop the hood and take a look.

High blood pressure left untreated can be a one-way ticket to the heart attack city, stroke town, or kidney failure junction. Yikes! And the worst part? You might not even feel any symptoms to warn you that something is up – your blood pressure reading is your only clue.

Don’t wait until your body starts making strange noises or smoking from under the hood – get it checked out ASAP and start making some changes. With a little TLC, you can get your body’s engine purring like a kitten and cruising down the highway of life with ease!

I always recommend working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner like myself or someone that runs comprehensive bloodwork. Simply doing the conventional lab tests most docs do is like owning a Ferrari and taking it to Jiffy Lube instead of a Ferrari specialist. They aren’t doing a full inspection and looking at it from the inside out. (You can book a virtual session online with me by clicking Book Now in the top right corner)

After we get your test results back we make a treatment plan that includes supplements, diet, lifestyle and stress management modifications to get your body running like the finely tuned machine that it is meant to be. 

These are all vital to keep your blood pressure in check and prevent further damage to your body.




The rules are simple: if a caveman didn’t eat it, neither will you. This means nixing all processed foods, refined sugars, and most grains from your diet.

Think a variety of fruits and veggies, high-quality grass-fed meat, organic eggs, and wild-caught fish. By focusing on ingredients instead of food made with ingredients, you’ll find that grocery shopping and meal planning become a breeze. Stick to the refrigerated and produce aisles and watch your health transform.

Sure, it may require a change in your habits and stepping out of your comfort zone, but let’s be honest, your comfort zone hasn’t been all that comfortable if you’ve been dealing with high blood pressure. The effort and preparation required are well worth the benefits to your health. And the best part? A real food diet rarely requires calorie counting or abandoning entire food groups that can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

It also helps you easily avoid the top 3 common foods that are sabotaging your health:

  • Industrial seed oils
  • Sugar
  • Grains


I call these the ‘Big 3’ to avoid because they cause chronic inflammation in the body.  This is one of the main contributing factors that cause the blood vessels to crack and weaken over time, thus requiring patching by cholesterol. Avoiding foods that cause inflammation is paramount in reducing high blood pressure.

If you’re not ready to go full paleo, start by cutting out the Big 3.

Getting back to real foods (what our bodies know how to break down and turn into energy) and avoiding highly processed junk will make massive changes to your health in every aspect! Not just your blood pressure but you will also see improvements in your digestion, sleep, energy, and mood.

So how do you do this? 


1. Click here to download our 30-Day Paleo Reset Guide 

2. Be creative

Just because you’re following a paleo diet doesn’t mean your meals have to be boring. Experiment with new recipes and try using paleo-friendly ingredients like almond flour, coconut milk, and avocado oil.

  • Make grain-free pizza crusts with cauliflower or almond flour
  • Swap out tortillas for lettuce cups in your tacos
  • Use sweet potato slices instead of bread
  • Use mustard, collard, or romaine greens for a wrap instead of a tortilla or bread
  • Swap spaghetti squash or zucchini/carrot “zoodles” instead of pasta noodles
  • Choose plantain chips cooked in coconut oil instead of corn tortilla or potato chips
  • Use squash, carrots, or potatoes instead of rice, quinoa, or bread
  • Check out my favorite cookbook here


3. Stock up on paleo-friendly foods

The paleo diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods like meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with these types of foods so you avoid reaching for processed and packaged foods. 

It’s best to clean out your pantry because it’s easiest to reach for those quick pre-made salty and sweet snacks when we are hungry! Keep them out of sight and out of mind.

4. Plan your meals and meal prep

Meal planning can help you stay on track with your paleo diet. Plan your meals ahead of time and batch cook when possible to make meal prep easier. You can batch cook on Sundays to prepare for the week or even make double of dinner so you can have leftovers for lunch.

  • Google Paleo ____ or Whole30 _____ for inspiration

(“Paleo Lasagna”, “Paleo Enchiladas”)

You’ll be surprised at how many delicious and paleo-friendly recipes you can find! 

By making these simple changes, you can make a huge impact on your health and well-being. A whole food diet (like Paleo) and cutting out the Big 3 will fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally and reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, and other factors that contribute to hypertension. 

It may require some adjustments and effort to adopt a new way of eating, but the benefits are immense, including better blood pressure control, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, weight loss, increased energy, and improved mood. Remember, you are in control of your health, and making dietary changes is a powerful tool to achieve your goals and live a healthier, happier life.