For years health professionals have been preaching the ills of simple carbohydrates, especially as it relates to your heart health. Now, research from Tel Aviv University shows exactly how these carbohydrate rich foods increase your risk for future heart problems.
By looking at the arteries of students eating a variety of foods, Dr. Michael Shechter and his associates were able to visualized exactly what happens inside the body when a wrong variety of foods are eaten. Dr. Shechter found that the foods with a high glycemic index caused the brachial arteries, a major blood vessel of the upper arm, to swell from the inside.
These findings are important because elasticity in arteries anywhere in the body can be a measure of your heart’s health. However, when this is intensified over time, a sudden expansion of the arteries can create negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death.
What is also unique about this study is that the research technique pioneered by Dr. Schechter’s laboratory was able to visualize what happens before, during, and after eating high carbohydrate foods, which is the first in medical history.
Dr. Shechter went on to state that even though it is hard to predict heart disease, doctors do know that high glycemic foods rapidly increase blood sugar and those who binge on these types of foods have a greater chance of sudden death from heart attack. The research connects the dots by showing the link between the diet of these foods and what is happening in real time in the arteries.
Equally insightful was the dramatic results seen on the arterial function of the volunteers. In the study, one group ate cornflake mush that was mixed with milk, a second group ate a pure sugar mixture, and a third group ate bran flakes. A fourth group was given water, the placebo group. After 4 weeks of testing, the results showed that, after eating, all but the placebo group had reduced arterial functioning.
Moreover, in the high glycemic groups, those eating cornflakes and a sugar mixture, had enormous peaks, which indicates arterial stress was found. From this, researchers now have a mechanism that shows how high glycemic foods are bad for your heart. This finding helps to finally explain how these foods can effect the progression of heart disease.
So, what is the message that the general public should take from this? Namely, when you eat french fries or potato chips, or drink sodas that are full of sugar, you are putting undue stress on your arteries, which could lead to heart disease. To counter this, you need to replace those foods with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
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