Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cornflakes linked to heart disease

Adopting a diet rich in carbohydrates interferes with the function of blood vessels, placing the individual at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Previous studies had considered high blood sugar levels after meals as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, not only in patients with diabetes but also in the general population.

High-glycemic meals, such as white bread, cornflakes and instant potatoes, are reported to increase blood sugar levels more than foods with low-glycemic index -- oatmeal, most fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a diet rich in high-glycemic food is linked to higher risk of heart disease. High-glycemic foods not only increase postprandial blood sugar levels but also interfere with the function of blood vessels, a key variable in the development of hardening of the arteries and heart disease increasing the cardiac events.

"The main take-home message is that high-glycemic index carbs are dangerous since they reduce or inhibit endothelial function, which is the 'risk of the risk factors,' leading to atherosclerosis and potentially leading to heart disease," said Michael Shechter, the leader of the research team. Scientists therefore urged individuals to substitute high-glycemic carbohydrates with low-glycemic ones with the aim of lowering possible health concerns.

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