Put down that PB&J on white bread and listen to this: In a just-released landmark study, researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center found that high carbohydrate foods can be extremely dangerous to the health of your heart. Implicated foods include the “bad” carbs like white bread, sugary cereals, cookies and cakes.
While this isn’t exactly new news, this important study provides a direct reason why these high glycemic foods wreak havoc on the heart and increase risk of heart disease. The researchers showed that after you eat a carb-laden food like a bowl of corn flakes or a Twinkie, your brachial arteries become distended, or swollen, for several hours. While it’s important for the arteries to have a certain amount of elasticity in them, over time, a sudden expansion of the arteries, which follows after noshing on a carb-filled snack, can cause a number of negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death.
Medical professionals are not only warning against the consumption of high glycemic foods, but the results appear to be even scarier for those who binge on such foods and consume too much of them in one sitting. Their risk of death from a heart attack is greatly increased.
So what does this study mean for you? Doctors are recommending that when you eat carbohydrates, consume those with whole grains like oatmeal, whole grain bread, brown or wild rices and starches like sweet potatoes and legumes. Since these foods contain fiber in addition to a number of other essential nutrients, they result in a slow and steady release of blood sugar and don’t expand the arteries like the culprit “white” foods do. Toss in 30 minutes of physical activity every day and you’re the picture of perfect health!
July 2nd, 2009