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C. The Dietary Downside Of Evolution

Narrator: This is Science Today. A high potassium/low salt diet is key to avoiding hypertension, or high blood pressure. Researcher Curtis Morris of the University of California, San Francisco says not only does lab work support this theory - so do the diets of several primitive societies.

Morris: You ever hear of the Yanamani Indians in Brazil? Well, they're famous, epidemiologically, because of the fact that they don't get hypertension. They eat very low salt intake and their very high potassium's the potassium they get from berries and fruits and so forth.

Narrator: Morris says in evolutionary terms, our bodies were designed to run off this high potassium/low sodium diet.

Morris: These days, that's been reversed. Our diets are high in salt and low in potassium. So in a sense, out diet is a mismatch for what we were designed to eat and I think that has caused a lot of problems....for example, high blood pressure.

Narrator: Which is one of the leading causes of heart disease, still the nation's number one killer. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.