According to Australian researchers, immediately after eating a high-fat meal, an individual experiences a dramatic drop in the elasticity of their arteries, a situation that could increase their risk of heart attack. Arteries need to be elastic enough to expand when muscles--including the heart--demand more oxygen. Artery stiffness develops with aging and is the main cause of hypertension. Stiffening also places an extra load on the heart.
The total fat content of the meal fed to 16 volunteers was 50 grams, well below that of a typical fast-food meal consisting of a cheeseburger and fries, and roughly half the amount of fat a typical North American man consumes each day. The investigators found that those that ate the high-fat meal had higher levels of triglycerides and cholesterol at 3 and 6 hours after consuming the meal. What's more, those who ate the high-fat meal experienced a 25% reduction and a 27% reduction in overall elasticity of their large arteries. The high-fat meal eaters were then compared with those who ate a low-fat meal of 6 grams of fat derived from breads, cereal, low-fat milk and spreads. According to the researchers, high-fat meals should be avoided.
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