It is, of course, no big shocker that I am going to say that lifestyle is the only answer to safely lower blood pressure. It should also be well known that the class of drugs known as beta blockers actually increase the risk of stroke and diabetes, and do not change the risk of dying.
The approach of blood pressure control with medication is lower is better. But, as will anything using medication, when we begin to mess with our physiology, there is always a price to be paid. This particular study looked at the benefits of lowering blood pressure below 130 systolic. If you believe in mainstream medicine and that life is made better through chemistry, than this sounds like a reasonable goal.
However, while the risk of stroke was lowered by aggressive blood pressure lowering below 130, the risk of dangerous side effects went up 40%. There was also no other benefit to the patient other than lowered stroke risk (in other words–a single intervention targeting only a single outcome-stroke, with absolutely no benefit to any other aspect of our health).
Contrast this to lowering blood pressure with lifestyle changes. First, lifestyle will never bring you to a dangerously low blood pressure. Dangerous side effects? Only if you consider feeling better and looking better “dangerous.” Single outcomes? Lifestyle changes will cut across every other disease state in addition to lowering your risk of stroke.
Most case of high blood pressure stem from being prediabetic. Manage the interplay between insulin and your cells with the right choices and you are well on your way to lowering your blood pressure. That means exercise, more fruits / veggies, cut back on calories, increase intake of omega 3 fats while avoiding hydrogenated and reducing omega 6 and doing your best to avoid the toxic chemicals of the world we live in.