Eating this high-fiber food regularly may not only lower blood pressure but also reduce the need for heart medicine.
Reviewed by Dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., RD
If you have high blood pressure, do yourself a favor and eat breakfast. Research shows that skipping this morning meal may leave you more vulnerable to hypertension. A meta-analysis of six studies on 14,189 adults found that breakfast skippers (defined as eating it fewer than three days per week) had a 20% higher risk of developing high blood pressure, per the International Journal of Hypertension. Forgoing breakfast may prompt overeating later, promoting weight gain. It’s also been associated with higher levels of certain inflammatory markers, the authors point out.
That goes to show that eating a healthy breakfast may actually benefit your overall blood pressure numbers. Don’t worry, there isn’t some kind of fancy meal plan or program you need to follow to make that happen. You can easily find healthy breakfasts for high blood pressure right at your local Costco.
So what kind of breakfasts should you buy at the warehouse, then? We talked to Lauren Manaker, M.S., RDN, to gather her best tips for choosing a healthy breakfast if you have high blood pressure. Plus, we asked which Costco breakfast best fits her parameters.
How to Choose Healthier Breakfasts to Lower Blood Pressure
Look for High Fiber
If there is one thing you should focus on when creating a blood-pressure-friendly breakfast, make it fiber. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate found in foods like fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains that’s been shown to be great for heart health. Not only is the nutrient associated with lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, eating more fiber may also help reduce systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure by 4 and 3 points, respectively, according to a 2022 meta-analysis in BMC Medicine. High-fiber breakfasts, such as avocado on whole-grain toast, smoothies made with fresh produce, and bowls of oatmeal and high-fiber cereal with fruit, can benefit your blood pressure.
A particular type of fiber, called soluble fiber, may be especially impactful for hypertension. Another meta-analysis in Nutrition Journal in 2023 found that every additional 5 grams of soluble fiber consumed helps reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers, possibly because soluble fiber helps create short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which may play a role in blood pressure regulation. Soluble fiber is found in foods like oatmeal, oat bran, avocado, chia seeds, flaxseed, apples, bananas and oranges, according to the National Lipid Association.
The Best Breakfast at Costco for High Blood Pressure
After searching the shelves at Costco, Manaker says her top suggestion for breakfast for people who have high blood pressure is Bob's Red Mill Organic Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats.
“Oats are a natural source of many nutrients that may support healthy blood pressure, including beta-glucans, phenolic compounds and plant proteins,” Manaker explains. “They also naturally contain nutrients that support heart health, including vitamin E,” she adds. Each ¼-cup serving of dry oats supplies 4 grams of total fiber.
Manaker points to research that supports eating oatmeal for high blood pressure. A 2022 review in Nutrients reviewed 18 different randomized controlled trials and 3 meta-analyses on the impact of oats on blood pressure. The researchers concluded that eating oatmeal appears to decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Regular oatmeal consumption has also been linked to the reduction of using anti-hypertensive medication.
There are many types of oatmeal, but this one in particular is a winner. “Bob's Red Mill Organic Quick Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats are a great buy at Costco for people who want a hearty breakfast while managing their blood pressure,” Manaker says. “Made with only one ingredient—oats—this option is 100% whole grain. Bob's uses high-protein, whole-grain oats to make this oatmeal, and it is incredibly easy to make at breakfast time,” she says.
Tips for Making Steel-Cut Oats for Breakfast
Steel-cut oats aren’t exactly known for being the quickest breakfast to cook. Thankfully, this particular brand of steel-cut oatmeal drastically cuts the amount of cook time to just 5 minutes. If you like to meal prep and need easy grab-and-go breakfasts, you could always skip the daily cooking process and prep jars of overnight steel-cut oats instead.
But no one wants to eat a plain bowl of oatmeal, right? Manaker says the key to keeping your breakfast heart-healthy and delicious is to add other nutritious ingredients to your bowl, such as nuts (like walnuts or sliced almonds) or nut butter, as well as fruit to add natural sweetness without any added sugars. To increase the stick-to-your-ribs staying power of oatmeal, add some protein to your bowl by cooking oatmeal with an egg white (yes, really!), stirring in a scoop of protein powder, adding dairy like cow’s milk, or topping with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
The Bottom Line
Eating breakfast is important for managing blood pressure. In particular, breakfast foods that are high in fiber may help reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. If you’re looking for the best breakfast food at Costco for high blood pressure, pick up Bob's Red Mill Organic Quick Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats. This brand makes cooking steel-cut oats an easier, quicker process, allowing you to start even busy mornings in a heart-healthy way.
Read the original article on Eating Well.