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Single Junk-Food Meal Can Damage Arteries

Single Junk-Food Meal Can Damage Arteries

TORONTO — A single junk-food meal rich in saturated fat is detrimental to the health of the arteries, researchers in Canada said.

Dr. Anil Nigam and colleagues at the University of Montreal-affiliated EPIC Center of the Montreal Heart Institute compared the effects of a junk-food meal and a typical Mediterranean meal on the vascular endothelium, the inner lining of the blood vessels. Endothelial function is closely linked to the long-term risk of developing coronary artery disease.

The study involved 28 non-smoking men who underwent an ultrasound of an artery at the elbow crease after fasting for 12 hours to assess their baseline endothelial function. The Mediterranean meal was composed of salmon, almonds and vegetables cooked in olive oil, with 51 percent of total calories mostly from monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, or “good” fat. One week later, the second meal consisted of a sandwich made of a sausage, an egg, a slice of cheese and three hash browns, with 58 percent of total calories from fat, mostly saturated fatty acids.

Two hours and four hours after each meal, participants underwent further ultrasounds to assess how the food had impacted their endothelial function.

The study found after participants ate a junk-food meal, their arteries dilated 24 percent less than they did when in the fasting state, while the arteries dilated — expanded — normally and maintained good blood flow after the Mediterranean-type meal.

“Poor endothelial function is one of the most significant precursors of atherosclerosis,” Nigam told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress meeting in Toronto.

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  • Howard

    What passes for science in the field of nutrition is usually wishful thinking. This article is a case in point. The problem with most junk food is NOT the saturated fat. Saturated fat is a healthy, essential nutrient. The problem is SUGAR, STARCH, WHEAT, and TRANS-FATS. These items are NOT essential or healthy.

  • Cliffystones

    How exactly do you serve “three hash browns” ?

    And considering the idiocy of the Socialists who regularly eat “The Mediterranean meal “, maybe it’s better to eat cheeseburgers and die a free man.


    3 cheeseburgers STRAIGHT UP, please !

  • RicardS

    You’ll never convince me that a steak dinner and baked potato or a good shrimp fettuccine at Oliver Garden won’t have the same effects. So what’s the purpose of the study other than to further vilify fast food industry or encroach ever closer to take away peoples freedom of choice? And comparing pre- and post levels to those taken during a fast, give me a break, what civilized nation has people who fast anyway?

    • http://naver samurai

      We Christians fast and pray, so what’s your point? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY! 하나님하고 나라를 위해서!

      You need both love of country and fear of God to be a patriot.

      • ChuckS

        Also, some fitness people are fasting 1 or 2 days a week to help weight loss.

        Also, most people fast 8-12 hours between supper and breakfast.

        I think the actual point is that tey were isolating the test meal, so the effect of previous meals would have been out of the bloodstream. I’d guess that previous studies have shown that after 12 hours or something lake that, the bloodstream is back to it’s state before the meal.

  • Bob Rutledge

    Eat that High Protein Low Carb diet. Steak, eggs, cheeses, butter, lard, etc. and PARENT EFAs. Learn how at ALL SCIENCE BASED NOT OPINION.

  • Dantes

    Making an assumption that the artery dilating is a marker of normality,or that lack of dilating is abnormal. No evidence provided to evaluate their claim, based on this article

  • farkle farkle

    More ‘science-based’ food regulation coming your way.

  • Dan Mancuso

    It’s not that I’m dissagreeing with what most of the previous nine responders were saying here, but would any of care to address the REASONS for the rate and degree of obesity in America?

    • duane

      I agree with your assessment of the previous nine responses. They don’t get it. To be healthy is to be truly free, not some slave to junk food which is becoming more predominant due to the average american being brainwashed by corporate media, corporate advertising, and corporate food manufacturers who all don’t give a rats bottom about your health. Sorry I forgot to add big Agriculture, bid Pharma, FDA, FTC, etc. whom also, want to continue the present paradigm in order to hold down the masses by keeping them sick and dependent on the government. This is where obummer care will be needed.


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