William Graham is trying to eat healthier. His new afternoon snack: carrots and yogurt dip.
"Take two tablespoons of the yogurt, put it in a little dish and with a soup mix and eat the vegetables with it," he said.
New research shows adding yogurt to your diet could help lower the chances of developing high blood pressure. Boston researchers followed more than 2,000 volunteers for 15 years. They found people who ate yogurt were much less likely to develop high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
"About a 31 percent reduction, so that is something that is pretty significant," said Nicolette Pace, a registered dietician.
People in the study benefitted if at least 2 percent of their daily calories came from yogurt. That's at least one 6-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days.
"We're looking at calcium and magnesium and potassium and sodium. And it bears mentioning that both sodium and potassium work one on one, so potassium actually helps you kind of to push the sodium out of your body," Pace said.
There are other ways to keep your blood pressure in check. Doctors say you should watch your weight, exercise, eat a healthy diet and reduce sodium.
Graham is making many of those lifestyle changes and he's lost almost 10 pounds.
"Cutting out breads, cutting out butter, things like that and going back to the healthier things," he said.
And he's happy to hear his choices could also keep his blood pressure in good shape.
The government funded the study together with the Dannon Company, which makes yogurt.
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