Background

In addition to weight-loss, healthy dietary patterns and lower sodium intakes can help reduce blood pressure (BP), but individualised dietary advice may be necessary to achieve these effects.

Objective

This study aimed to examine the impact of individualised dietary advice on BP in the intensive phase of a weight-loss trial.

Method

Secondary analysis of baseline and 3-month data from the HealthTrack randomised controlled trial (n = 211). Participants were randomly assigned to one of three dietary advice groups: general advice (control), individualised advice (intervention group, I), or intervention group supplemented with 30 g walnuts/day (IW). Resting BP and 24-h urine sodium and potassium were measured. Dietary intake was evaluated through diet history interviews.

Result

Unadjusted SBP reduced significantly in all groups (IW and I groups P < 0.001; control group P = 0.002) and DBP in IW and I groups (P < 0.001). Compared to controls, the reductions in BP were 3–4 mmHg greater in the I and IW groups, but this only reached significance for DBP in the I group (−3.3 mmHg; P = 0.041). After controlling for age, sex, medication, weight-loss, physical activity and smoking, only the IW group showed a significant association between SBP reduction and increased urinary potassium (β = −0.101, P = 0.044), decreased sodium:potassium ratio (β = 2.446, P = 0.037) and increased consumption of seed and nut products and dishes (β = −0.108, P = 0.034).

Conclusion

Dietary patterns with distinctive foods and lower sodium:potassium ratios may enhance the effects of weight-loss on BP. The patterns were best achieved with individualised dietary advice and food supplements.

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