Lower Blood Pressure With This Tasty Treat

March 22, 2013 | By | 65 Comments

This tasty treat lowers blood pressure and keeps your ticker beating strong…

Wouldn’t it be amazing if cookies, candies, and pastries were actually healthy? Unfortunately, that’s not the case and everybody knows it. In fact, if something is REALLY tasty, it’s usually bad for you.

Having said that, there is an exception to that rule. And I’m not referring to your favorite fruit or vegetable either. There is indeed a treat that – according to most people is extremely satisfying – and yet still manages to do your body good.

A lot of good actually…

As it turns out, dark chocolate is such a treat because it lowers blood pressure. Of course, if you have out of control hypertension, you can’t expect to pop a few squares and get back to normal. Nevertheless, it has been shown to decrease it by a few points.

Not bad right? After all, every little bit helps. And the fact that it tastes great too should make it a staple of your diet – even if you don’t have high blood pressure.

But what exactly gives dark chocolate its BP-lowering properties?

In a nutshell, it’s flavonol content. It’s an anti-oxidant that, according to studies, increases nitric oxide production in your arteries. This gas causes them to relax and become less stiff. Naturally, this leads to lower pressure which protects you from heart disease down the road.

Now, while this tasty treat is indeed good for you, it’s important not to overdo it. Cocoa is bitter and so the chocolate you end up buying is flavored with sugar. Obviously if you eat bar after bar you’ll take in enough of the latter to cancel out any health benefits.

Therefore, the darker the chocolate, the better. Aim for a cocoa content of 70% or more. That, and limit it to a few squares per day. By doing so you’ll both satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your ticker beating strong into old age.

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Comments (65)

  1. ken kendzor

    My wife and myself have been on your died for 3 weeks now and are happy with the results. We have found some bars that are Atkins they have 1 gram of sugar some cases 2. I would like to know if your think these are okay to have for a meal, snack or treat they are very good. I look forward to your reply. Thank you Ken Kendzor

  2. Roy Morey

    Are seeds a good snack?

  3. Jackie Hamilton

    Started diet 3 wks &2 days ago. Had no issues dropping carbs & sugars – have dropped a total of 10 lbs as this morning. Can’t start workouts until I get the clear from PCP( had bronchitis and pneumonia for 5 wks) the Slimbiotine Probiotic affect really helped because of 2 rounds of antibiotics.

    The only thing I miss is cream in my decaf coffee which I used to have 3-4 x wk. tried skim…it’s awful.

    Questions : is there a substitution for brussel sprouts????? I absolutely hate them.
    And found fasting a very easy preferred way to accomplish with 2 meals a day .
    Is there a problem with establishing that a a regular practice?????

  4. Donald bisping

    Can we have popcorn on this? Also do we have to eat green peppers?

  5. Donald Bisping

    Can we have popcorn. After the two weeks can we have a cheat meal? Also do we have to eat green peppers?

    • Hi Donald,

      You can have popcorn as part of your cheat meal. You do not have to eat green peppers if you do not want to.

      Cheat meals are one sitting or one occasion of eating and drinking. For example, if you have a pizza and you drink a soda with it and then have ice cream, that is all considered one cheat meal. If you have a good meal and finish that with an ice cream, that is also counted as one cheat meal. If you have a mid afternoon chocolate, that is also considered one cheat meal.

      What cheat meals are not is cheat days and cheat weekends. The idea is that if you eat well 21 meals a week you have something that is not good for your health but you enjoy it 1-2 times a week, in the grand picture, it will not have an significant impact on your progress but it will allow you to feel not so restricted.

  6. Dear Mr. Ward,

    I have been taking multible vitamins. Can I continue to take them with the slimbiotin vitamins?

      • Adebowale

        Dear Mr. Wards:

        I have just started taking the Slimibiothin about 2 weeks ago and I noticed a feeling of nausea. I even threw up, but I am not sure it was due to the Slimbiothin. Is this a common symptom associated with initial exposure to it. Everything is now settled down and I am tolerating it. Are we supposed to use probiotics for the rest of our lives or for sometime stopped and retake it?

        • Hi Adebowale,

          If your gut has a lot of bad bacteria it is possible to have nausea. The longer you take the probiotic the better your gut bacteria will be balanced.

  7. Debra Kane

    Wow, I just came up against a problem because of NOT reading a label : I was going to use diced tomatoes with added celery and onion but they have added sugar. I didn’t read the label before I bought the tomatoes. I’m going to save them for a “cheat” (or treat) meal in a couple of weeks.

  8. Debra Kane

    What about mustard? Plain mustard has no sugar and seems harmless.

  9. Debra Kane

    James, I would like to know if apple cider vinegar in plastic #1 bottles is safe to use. Thanks.

  10. Debra Kane

    Great news! I am beginning day #9 of the Cruise Control Diet Plan and I have lost 8 pounds!

  11. Barbara

    Aside from nuts and a fruit what would you suggest as a snack after dinner? I love nuts but is it possible to ear too many during the day. Thanks Jim. So far this way of eating suits me fine.

    • Hi Barbara,

      You can have fruit and raw veggies for snacks such as any type of berries an apple with peanut butter, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, celery with peanut butter.

      Seeds and nuts of any kind are also allowed without limitations.

      • Brenda york

        When and how much peanut butter is acceptable any special brand. On diet info says buy pork loin but is that a pound or what makes up a serving. Are cherries ok. What are good vegs vs bad ones bad =potatoes/corn/green peas/ crowder peas/ lima-butter beans/ I hate Brussels sprouts and avocado and cooked cabbage will eat Cole slaw but not often

        • Nik Takano

          Hi Brenda,

          Peanut butter is allowed as a snack and we only recommend brands with no or minimal sugar (1-2 grams per serving). You may also use nut butters as well.

  12. Mary Lou Shiveley

    Help!
    After 2 days on the diet and the probiotic, I was hit with serious weakness, almost to the fainting point, but not quite. It has lasted most of the day. Broke with diet and added whole wheat sandwich thins for my burger. Faintness gradually went away an hour later. What happened?

    • Hi Mary Lou,

      The change in your diet may have been to abrupt for you. Make sure that you are eating enough until you are satisfied and start by eliminating sugars from your diet and slowly try to remove starches and carbs from you diet so your body will adjust easier.

  13. Bonnie Collins

    Is and how much and how often is peanut butter allowed on this diet program?

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Peanut butter is allowed as a snack and we only recommend brands with no or minimal sugar (1-2 grams per serving). You may also use nut butters as well.

  14. Lynn

    If the lable says sugar0 and sugar is listed near the end of the ingredients should we eat it

  15. Cindy

    My husband and I are starting the CCD, my husband has A-fib and is on Warfarin to avoid having a stroke. He has to watch his Vitamin K intake and is afraid eating so many vegetables will affect his blood thickness. Can you make any recommendations?

    • Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for the update. Your husband can eat only the veggies that are allowed by his doctor. That will not be a problem. He has many choices on this program.

      The recipes in the Cookbook are not required by any means. They are simply suggestions and ideas for meals. We have many people allergic to various foods. Some are even vegetarians.

      The most important thing is understanding the fundamental principles of the Core Program. More specifically, the types of foods you can eat and which to avoid like the plague. Once you know and understand these principles, this whole process becomes intuitive and you can easily substitute for foods you are allergic to or simply to not enjoy.

      Wishing you both a great start!

  16. Norma szewczyk

    I forgot to take my slimbiotine 20 minutes before I ate dinner can I take it after I eat dinner?

  17. Marie Parnell

    I’ve been on the diet without any problem but I have only lost 3 lbs. I’ve ordered the probiotics and hoping for better results.

    • Hi Marie,

      Congrats on your initial weight loss. The first two weeks of the program are the metabolic reset phase. It takes time for your metabolism to change in order for you to loose weight. Everyone loses weight at a different pace. As long as you are feeling better overall, sleeping better, and have more energy, the diet is working. You need to stick with it and you will look and feel better.

  18. Beth

    What is your opinion of milk kefir? Can it be consumed in conjunction with slimbiotene?

    • Hi Beth,

      Both Kefir and Kombucha are a great source of probiotics and they both have sugars. I know that most is fermented but there still is sugar in liquid form. We recommended to have these but definitely not to overindulge. If you have these on a regular bases you will not need to supplement, unless your gut really needs a lot. Everyone is different but in general most people don’t need to supplement if they take it from foods.

  19. Richard O'Connor

    Can I have sauerkraut regularly?

    • Hi Richard,

      You can try to eat more probiotic food. Things like pickles and other pickled vegetables, raw cheese, plain yogurt, sauerkraut, olives.

  20. Janice

    Can we use honey.

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Janice,

      Although a natural product, honey is found as a rare food in nature and should be consumed as such only rarely. We recommend honey as a natural sweetener from time to time but not daily and without overindulging.

      Stevia is the best type of sweetener to use. It’s natural so it doesn’t come with the potential side effects of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Nutrasweet.

  21. Emily Dicicco

    Hi James,
    My husband and I have been on your program for 3 weeks with weight loss for both of us. I saw no mention of grapefruit in your book and wondered if it is allowed. We plan to stay on your plan as a way of way of life. You have made it very simple.

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Emily,

      Thanks for writing in. Grapefruit is allowed. Another thing you can do is eat a handful of pistachios (~ 3 oz.) about 30 minutes before your meal. There was another study that showed a similar effect as the grapefruit.

  22. Rocky

    Hi James.

    At the 3 week mark and A OK..
    I Feel better and people are starting to notice . ( still tired after work but not a zombie like before)
    I thought all my cloths were shrinking up till now but I realize it was me getting bigger.
    I actually need a belt and shirts are starting to get baggy.
    I love it.
    I don’t watch the scale because I realize that’s not what its about but it is nice to see results once a week.
    down 10 Pounds.
    This plan has got me so sensitive to bad food even on my Binge days ( Only had 1 in 3 weeks ) that when I do eat something that isn’t good for me I make way better decisions and the food is like take it or leave it.
    I feel I don’t want to go backwards or feel bloated or heavy so I’ve got to always have my eye on the prize!!
    My question is on Yogurt.
    You say to eat plain which I bought Greek style with the lowest sugar content I could find.
    Is mixing fruit in it ok? (i.e.. grapefruit blueberries,Rasberries,bananas )
    I know your on the fence with dairy but small amounts of cheese and just a little lactose free milk in my coffee is the only dairy at the moment I am consuming.
    Like you say its balance and I don’t feel bad or notice any negative affects when I eat cheese..( can’t live without it).
    When I do get a urge for sugar fruit always fixes the urge.
    Always low G.I. fruits.
    Thanks for your program I think I am on the road to success.
    I do a lot of research on this type of diet and the basic principles are the same but I do like your approach much better.
    You have also made me a part time nutritionist because I’m fascinated about how the body reacts or doesn’t to foods.
    You are what you eat..in a nut shell..
    Thanks again Cheers

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Rocky,

      Thanks for writing in. I`m happy to know that you are doing great with the program. We recommend only having 1-2 fruits a day maximum. Good fruits to have are hard, crunchy with lots of chewing, and sour such as grapefruit, apples, hard pears, any type of berries.

      Congratulations and keep up the good work

  23. Hi Mr Ward,

    Today is day my 6th day I have lost 8 pounds and I was very sick this morning I made myself scramble eggs with mushrooms in it and about an hour later got sick. My doctor had given me the ok to use your system because she does not want me to go to a total plant base diet but saw this one would be good. Because I was eating way to many carbs.

    So my question is have you ever had someone get sick in the first week trying to get used to your diet. And what can I sub for fish I can’t eat tuna right now without getting sick . The GI doctor are looking in to why.

    Thank you for your time

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Congrats on your initial weight loss. The recipes in the Cookbook are not required by any means. They are simply suggestions and ideas for meals. We have many people allergic to various foods. Some are even vegetarians.

      The most important thing is understanding the fundamental principles of the Core Program. More specifically, the types of foods you can eat and which to avoid like the plague. Once you know and understand these principles, this whole process becomes intuitive and you can easily substitute for foods you are wanting to.

      It appears you might be making the number one mistake people make on the Cruise Control Diet. They treat it as a restrictive diet which it is not. The CCD is all about enjoying food and feeding your body nutritious meals that will give it energy and turn on the fat burning “switch.”

      When you limit how much you eat, you body gets the message that you are living in a time of ‘famine” so to say, that food is rare and who knows if there will be any tomorrow. So the central regulations (which is beyond mental control) makes you tired, sleepy, low energy and gives you just enough to go through your day. Everything that you have stored is locked. If you have been using portion control long enough, that really affects your metabolism as it trains it conserve vs. burn.

      It might sound counterintuitive but you must eat a lot to lose weight.

  24. My husband and I started this diet last week. I have lost about
    4 lbs so far but my husband seems to have a few lbs. Is it normal to gain weight the first week or two? We also have found low sugar Atkins bars and were wondering of the are ok. I am already feeling better I don’t doze off during the day anymore. For breakfast we sometimes have a Biotrust Protein Shake in the morning instead of bacon & eggs it has Stevia instead of sugar in it, is this ok? We look forward to making this diet our way of life.

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for writing in. We do not recommend eating Atkins protein bars because they have added sugars. We also do not recommend any form of meal substitution products as we recommend eating full meals with enough leftover to eat for lunches later on in the week.

      If you are craving chocolate you can certainly have natural dark chocolate while on the program.

      The protein shake is not a whole foods breakfast – it is manufactured, highly processed and even though you can’t find sugar in it, it probably has a sugar substitute of some kind. Almond milk might be OK but regular milk is not.

      It is best if you stick to a real whole foods breakfast so you can get results faster. After that, when you are the desired weight you could reintroduce that specific breakfast and see if it affects you.

      Let me give you the 3 phases of Cruise Control Diet for you to ensure that you follow it especially on the first two weeks.

      The first phase of the Cruise Control Diet is the metabolic reset phase. It is a very strict 2 week period (4 weeks if you are doing the Boot Camp) during which you are not allowed to have any cheat meals. You need to be strict during this phase only.

      After this, you enter the maintenance phase. This is the main phase of the weight loss. This is the period when you lose weight and adjust to the new healthier way of enjoying foods and getting healthy at the same time. It is important that during this phase you have 1 or 2 cheat meals a week.

      Cheat meals are one sitting or one occasion of eating and drinking. For example, if you have a pizza and you drink a soda with it and then have ice cream, that is all considered one cheat meal. If you have a healthy meal and finish that with an ice cream, that is also counted as one cheat meal. If you have a mid afternoon chocolate, that is also considered one cheat meal.

      What cheat meals are not is cheat days and cheat weekends. The idea is that if you eat well 21 meals a week you have something that is not good for your health but you enjoy it 1-2 times a week, in the grand picture, it will not have an significant impact on your progress but it will allow you to feel not so restricted.

      This second phase lasts for as long as you want. If you stick to this long enough you will soon realize that cheat meals are not as enjoyable or desirable after some time. As your body changes and your taste buds also change, your will taste preference will change too. With time, having a cheat meal will make you feel heavy and/or bloated and your body will start to desire these less and less.

      Phase III is the Intermittent Fasting discussed at the end of the book. It is not recommended for people with diabetes as it involves prolonged periods of fasting. It is, however, recommended if you want to lose the weight as fast as possible or simply want to speed things up.

  25. HI CCD, is there a maintenance book you can purchase, what do I do after my 2 weeks is over. Truly Tracy

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Tracy,

      Theres no maintenance book phase. You can finish all three with just the core program. Let me give you an idea about the 3 phases.

      The first phase of the Cruise Control Diet is the metabolic reset phase. It is a very strict 2 week period (4 weeks if you are doing the Boot Camp) during which you are not allowed to have any cheat meals. You need to be strict during this phase only.

      After this, you enter the maintenance phase. This is the main phase of the weight loss. This is the period when you lose weight and adjust to the new healthier way of enjoying foods and getting healthy at the same time. It is important that during this phase you have 1 or 2 cheat meals a week.

      Cheat meals are one sitting or one occasion of eating and drinking. For example, if you have a pizza and you drink a soda with it and then have ice cream, that is all considered one cheat meal. If you have a healthy meal and finish that with an ice cream, that is also counted as one cheat meal. If you have a mid afternoon chocolate, that is also considered one cheat meal.

      What cheat meals are not is cheat days and cheat weekends. The idea is that if you eat well 21 meals a week you have something that is not good for your health but you enjoy it 1-2 times a week, in the grand picture, it will not have an significant impact on your progress but it will allow you to feel not so restricted.

      This second phase lasts for as long as you want. If you stick to this long enough you will soon realize that cheat meals are not as enjoyable or desirable after some time. As your body changes and your taste buds also change, your will taste preference will change too. With time, having a cheat meal will make you feel heavy and/or bloated and your body will start to desire these less and less.

      Phase III is the Intermittent Fasting discussed at the end of the book. It is not recommended for people with diabetes as it involves prolonged periods of fasting. It is, however, recommended if you want to lose the weight as fast as possible or simply want to speed things up.

  26. My wife (Donna) and I are on Day 6 of the 1st phase. We are having a very difficult time with our veggies and meats having any flavor. Is it possible to grill these foods or do they have to be broiled? also I was a sugar junkie– water , unsweet tea and black coffee have been very difficult for me. Can I drink Propel- flavored water?

    • Nik Takano

      Hi James,

      Thanks for writing in. Propel-flavored water is not recommended. You can either grilled it or broiled any of those two are allowed.

      The recipes in the Cookbook are not required by any means. They are simply suggestions and ideas for meals. We have many people allergic to various foods. Some are even vegetarians.

      The most important thing is understanding the fundamental principles of the Core Program. More specifically, the types of foods you can eat and which to avoid like the plague. Once you know and understand these principles, this whole process becomes intuitive and you can easily substitute for foods you are wanting to.

  27. Can we have Ezekiel bread

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Tracy,

      Ezekiel bread can be found in the frozen foods section of almost any grocery store. Ezekiel bread is the best kind of bread you can have as it is made from sprouted grains.

      You can have it from time to time and not count it as a cheat meal. I would wait until phase II to have it.

  28. Annette Olavarria

    Hi James,
    I’m almost finished with phase 1 of the boot camp portion of the diet but I’m a bit confused. According to your video it says phase 2 you can have 1 cheat meal, but I noticed in several post above you’ve said no cheat meal until the IF phase of the program.
    So which is it?

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Annette,

      Here is a more detailed explanation of the 3 phases of Cruise Control Diet.

      The first phase of the Cruise Control Diet is the metabolic reset phase. It is a very strict 2 week period (4 weeks if you are doing the Boot Camp) during which you are not allowed to have any cheat meals. You need to be strict during this phase only.

      After this, you enter the maintenance phase. This is the main phase of the weight loss. This is the period when you lose weight and adjust to the new healthier way of enjoying foods and getting healthy at the same time. It is important that during this phase you have 1 or 2 cheat meals a week.

      Cheat meals are one sitting or one occasion of eating and drinking. For example, if you have a pizza and you drink a soda with it and then have ice cream, that is all considered one cheat meal. If you have a healthy meal and finish that with an ice cream, that is also counted as one cheat meal. If you have a mid afternoon chocolate, that is also considered one cheat meal.

      What cheat meals are not is cheat days and cheat weekends. The idea is that if you eat well 21 meals a week you have something that is not good for your health but you enjoy it 1-2 times a week, in the grand picture, it will not have an significant impact on your progress but it will allow you to feel not so restricted.

      This second phase lasts for as long as you want. If you stick to this long enough you will soon realize that cheat meals are not as enjoyable or desirable after some time. As your body changes and your taste buds also change, your will taste preference will change too. With time, having a cheat meal will make you feel heavy and/or bloated and your body will start to desire these less and less.

      Phase III is the Intermittent Fasting discussed at the end of the book. It is not recommended for people with diabetes as it involves prolonged periods of fasting. It is, however, recommended if you want to lose the weight as fast as possible or simply want to speed things up.

  29. Hi James,

    I posted a week ago as to which option to do concerning the boot

    camp Phase 2, whether to take a cheat meal or not. My post has

    since been removed without a response , I didn’t mean to offend by

    asking should I take a cheat meal as the video says or not. I

    really would love a response since I am now in phase 2, please

    respond…

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Annette,

      Thanks for writing in. Here are the 3 phases of Cruise Control Diet which discusses cheat meals.

      The first phase of the Cruise Control Diet is the metabolic reset phase. It is a very strict 2 week period (4 weeks if you are doing the Boot Camp) during which you are not allowed to have any cheat meals. You need to be strict during this phase only.

      After this, you enter the maintenance phase. This is the main phase of the weight loss. This is the period when you lose weight and adjust to the new healthier way of enjoying foods and getting healthy at the same time. It is important that during this phase you have 1 or 2 cheat meals a week.

      Cheat meals are one sitting or one occasion of eating and drinking. For example, if you have a pizza and you drink a soda with it and then have ice cream, that is all considered one cheat meal. If you have a healthy meal and finish that with an ice cream, that is also counted as one cheat meal. If you have a mid afternoon chocolate, that is also considered one cheat meal.

      What cheat meals are not is cheat days and cheat weekends. The idea is that if you eat well 21 meals a week you have something that is not good for your health but you enjoy it 1-2 times a week, in the grand picture, it will not have an significant impact on your progress but it will allow you to feel not so restricted.

      This second phase lasts for as long as you want. If you stick to this long enough you will soon realize that cheat meals are not as enjoyable or desirable after some time. As your body changes and your taste buds also change, your will taste preference will change too. With time, having a cheat meal will make you feel heavy and/or bloated and your body will start to desire these less and less.

      Phase III is the Intermittent Fasting discussed at the end of the book. It is not recommended for people with diabetes as it involves prolonged periods of fasting. It is, however, recommended if you want to lose the weight as fast as possible or simply want to speed things up.

    • Karen Apuan

      Cheat meals are one sitting or one occasion of eating and drinking. For example, if you have a pizza and you drink a soda with it and then have ice cream, that is all considered one cheat meal. If you have a good meal and finish that with an ice cream, that is also counted as one cheat meal. If you have a mid afternoon chocolate, that is also considered one cheat meal.

      What cheat meals are not is cheat days and cheat weekends. The idea is that if you eat well 21 meals a week you have something that is not good for your health but you enjoy it 1-2 times a week, in the grand picture, it will not have an significant impact on your progress but it will allow you to feel not so restricted.

  30. Kristina

    Is it ok to put coconut oil in my black coffee?

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