If you're tempted to cheat on your healthy diet and go on a binge, stop right there. New
research suggests that even a single high-fat meal can damage your heart.
Researchers from Montreal, presenting the study at the Canadian Cardiology Conference in Toronto, recently studied the effects of one meal high in saturated fat compared to a
Mediterranean-style meal of similar calories, but rich in monounsaturated “good” fats.
The researchers fed their subjects (28 nonsmoking men) a high-fat meal of a sandwich made from an egg, a sausage link, and a slice of cheese, accompanied by hash browns.
In contrast, the Mediterranean-style meal was salmon, almonds, and vegetables cooked in olive oil. The egg sandwich was 58 percent fat, compared to 51 percent fat for the salmon meal.
After each meal, the researchers gave the men ultrasound tests to evaluate how their coronary arteries were functioning. The researchers found that after the high-fat meal, the men’s coronary arteries’ ability to widen and maintain good blood flow was diminished by 24 percent.
On the other hand, after eating the Mediterranean-style meal, the men’s coronary arteries operated efficiently, and the blood flowed through their hearts normally.
The inability of the heart’s coronary arteries to function properly is a precursor of coronary
heart disease. So the next time you are tempted to binge on foods high in saturated fat, munch on some almonds instead.
More Posts by Chauncey Crandall, M.D.
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