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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Steve White/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images
Junk Food

Study reveals every single junk food meal damages your arteries

Don’t worry though, you can scoff as much Mediterranean food as you like.

A SINGLE JUNK FOOD meal, composed mainly of saturated fat, is detrimental to the health of the arteries, a study from the University of Montreal has revealed.

The University affiliated ÉPIC Center of the Montreal Heart Institute study also showed that no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good fats such as mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Researchers say the Mediterranean cuisine may even have a positive effect on the arteries.

Dr Anil Nigam, the head of the study, measured endothlial function, which is closely linked to the long term risk of developing coronary artery disease, to determine how easily arteries will dilate after a temporary, five minute blockage, following the consumption of the two types of meals.

Results were established in 28 non-smoking men, who ate the Mediterranean-type meal first and then the junk food meal one week later and researchers tested the effects of each meal.

The first meal was composed of salmon, almonds and vegetables cooked in olive oil, of which 51 per cent of total calories came from fat – mostly mononounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats.

Loaded with saturated fatty acids, the second meal consisted of a sandwich made of a sausage, an egg, a slice of cheese and three hash browns.

Following ultrasounds to test the effects of the meals on participants the team found that participants dilated 24 per cent less after junk food than they did when they fasted beforehand.

In contrast, the arteries were found to dilate normally and maintain good blood flow after the healthier Mediterranean type meal.

Commenting on the findings Dr Nigam said “These results will positively alter how we eat on a daily basis.”

“It is now something to think about at every meal.”

The findings were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress this week and were published in The Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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