The rate of overweight and/or obese baby boomer Americans hovers in the 70-plus percent range, indicating that people of this generation need to know and heed good nutrition. Dr. Anil Nigam presented the results of a recent study that demonstrated how just one fat-laden meal can affect your body's healthy responses.
Research on Mediterranean Diet's Effects on Artery Function
People who are physically active and those that monitor their calorie intake closely may think it's safe for them to enjoy a cheeseburger and french fries now and then. A group of researchers from at the EPIC Center of the Montreal Health Institute tested that theory by measuring the effects of one Mediterranean-style meal and one saturated fat-laden meal on the inner lining of the arteries, endothelium.
Twenty-eight non-smoking men had their endothelium function tested, first after a 12-hour fast to assess baseline function, then were fed a Mediterranean-style meal of salmon, almonds and vegetables cooked in olive oil, reported UPI.com. A week later, the same group of study participants was fed a meal of a sandwich made with sausage, cheese, hash browns and an egg.
The first meal's calories were 51 percent fat, mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, while the sandwich's calories were 58 percent fat, mostly saturated fats.
After each meal, endothelial function was tested on the participants after two- and four-hour intervals. Test results revealed that endothelial function was unchanged in both tests after the Mediterranean-style meal, but decreased 24 percent after the junk food meal.
The Importance of Endothelial Function
The inner lining of your arteries, the endothelium, has much to do with how open or narrow your blood vessels are. Narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels from arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis can lead to high blood pressure and other chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and decreased kidney function.
If one meal loaded with saturated fats makes an immediate impact on your health, imagine what increasing the frequency of eating such meals would do. It is important for all age groups to eat a nutritionally sound diet, but baby boomers have a narrower window of time to make changes before their health is impacted for life.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.
- baby boomer generation