Every junk food meal you eat increases your risk of a heart attack

Whilst granny might have said, “a little of what you fancy does you good,” actually, when it comes to fatty foods that’s just not the case. Scientists at the University of Montreal have found that even one meal rich in saturated fat affects the way your arteries function and could therefore be increasing your risk of developing cardio-vascular disease.

The study, presented at last week’s Canadian Cardio Congress, compared the results of eating a junk food meal to consuming a mediterranean style meal, rich in healthy fats like mono and polyunsaturated fats (think olive oil, nuts and fish).

During the study, scientists measured vascular endothelium function (the inner lining of blood vessels of the heart) after each meal, which is a key indicator of the long term risk of developing cardio-vascular disease.

Following the high fat meal (test subjects ate a sandwich of sausage, egg and a slice of cheese with three hash browns), vascular endothelium function was reduced by 24%.

So, now that I’m sounding like Little Miss Misery Knickers, what can you do to minimize the effects of binge eating and protect your heart health?

GO ALTERNATIVE

The thought of a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich actually makes me feel pretty queasy. If you’re desperate for a fry up, consider a good quality, high meat content, free range sausage with a free range poached egg and tomatoes or baked beans. Or perhaps go for fresh tomato and garlic topped bruschetta with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Yum!

GO FOR QUALITY

I for one am rather a fan of pork belly (as is my 8% body fat husband), but we only ever buy the best quality pork we can find. For us, this is from Sparks’ butchers in Blackheath. It’s happy pig belly from piggies who have eaten the best there is to forage and generally speaking free range = healthier fat. It’s the same as eating eggs from free range hens, they’ll be higher in omega 3 and essential fatty acids due to a free range diet.

GO GREEN

Surround your Christmas Turkey with all things green. The study showed the results of a meal that was 58% saturated fat. So rather than fill your plate with meat, roasties and sausages, fill your plate with veggies. Green, yes but all different colours too. Filling yourself up on vegetables will increase your vitamin quota, help your body to alkalise the meat and reduce the overall fat percentage of your dinner.

CLEANSE YOUR SYSTEM

If you have had a blow out, consider fasting to give your system a break and then fill your diet with artery cleansing foods. Oats, beans, nuts, oily fish, whole grains and colourful vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach literally clean your blood vessels from the inside.

Read the original study information on Science Daily’s website.

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