[PHNUTR-L] A single high-fat meal plus stress equals physical harm
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Wed Apr 25 08:57:23 PDT 2007
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Public release date: 23-Apr-2007
Contact: Gregory Harris
gharris at ucalgary.ca
University of Calgary
A steady, high-fat diet is bad, but the news gets worse
A single high-fat meal plus stress equals physical harm
So much for the adage, ‘All things in moderation.’ Researchers at the
University of Calgary have found that people who consume a single,
high-fat meal are more prone to suffer the physical consequences of
stress than those who eat a low-fat meal.
Published this month in the Journal of Nutrition, the study looked at
the stress responses of two groups of students: one group consumed a
fast-food breakfast from McDonald’s, the other ate dry cereal with skim
milk, cereal bars and non-fat yogurt.
"What’s really shocking is that this is just one meal," says Dr Tavis
Campbell, a specialist in behavioural medicine and senior author of the
"It’s been well documented that a high-fat diet leads to
artherosclerosis and high blood pressure, and that exaggerated and
prolonged cardiovascular responses to stress are associated with high
blood pressure in the future. So when we learn that even a single,
high-fat meal can make you more reactive to stress, it’s cause for
concern because it suggests a new and damaging way that a high-fat diet
affects cardiovascular function."
In the study, 30 healthy young adults fasted the night before, then
consumed either a high- or low-fat breakfast. Both meals had the same
number of calories and the low-fat breakfast included supplements to
balance it for sodium and potassium.
Two hours later the two groups were subjected to standard physical and
mental stress tests while having their cardiovascular responses
measured. They performed a mathematical test designed to be stressful,
completed a public speaking exercise about something emotionally
provocative, held an arm in ice water, and had a blood pressure cuff
inflated around an arm, which gradually causes a dull ache.
"Regardless of the task, we recorded greater reactivity among those who
consumed the high-fat meal in several cardiovascular measures we
recorded, including blood pressure, heart rate and the resistance of
blood vessels," says Fabijana Jakulj, a U of C student who used the
study as the basis for her honours thesis.
Campbell cautions that despite the grim message that even one high-fat
meal is unhealthy, more research is needed to fully understand how the
mechanisms work. "Telling people to never eat something is probably not
a good way to promote a better diet," he says. "At the same time we do
have an epidemic of obesity in North America and it’s important that
people try to make informed choices."
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
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