Many people enjoy eating fatty meals, but what does a high fat diet do to your heart? According to research, just one meal can affect your blood vessels.
It’s hardly a surprise to find out that a diet high in saturated fat can contribute to the development of heart disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that these diets may increase the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular illnesses.
While most people understand that a high-fat diet can negatively impact your heart over time, few know that just a single meal can have noticeable effects. According to research by the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) in Augusta, a single high-fat diet can have immediately damaging effects.
High-Fat Meals and Red Blood Cells
Participants in the study included 10 healthy men who had healthy cholesterol and lipid levels and exercised regularly. They were divided into two groups: one was fed a super-high-fat milkshake and the other was fed a meal with the same number of calories but low in fat.
Four hours after the meal, the participants underwent biochemical tests. These exams focused on the impact of high-fat food on red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the blood. The human body has about 25 trillion red blood cells that impact the other cells in the body.
One of the reasons why these cells are so important to cardiovascular health is that they carry cholesterol and nitric oxide. Both of these substances affect the elasticity of blood vessels. For instance, nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, resulting in better circulation.
Red Blood Cell Spikes
“[The participants’ red blood cells] changed size, they changed shape, they got smaller,” says Dr. Ryan A. Harris, clinical exercise and vascular physiologist at Augusta University’s Georgia Prevention Institute. While these red blood cells are typically smooth, they get spikes on them after consuming a high-fat meal – spikes that are particularly damaging to blood vessels.
Moreover, there is an increase in an enzyme (myeloperoxidase) that may contribute to atherosclerosis and heart attacks. While the harms are reversible, they’re more likely to last if you continue eating high-fat meals. “The take-home message is that your body can usually handle this if you don’t do it again at the next meal and the next and the next,” adds Dr. Julia E. Brittain, a vascular biologist at the MCG Vascular Biology Center and one of the corresponding authors of the study.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your heart health, then you can eat healthily, exercise regularly, and take L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients effectively promote circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. Give your heart the support it deserves by limiting your intake of high-fat meals. Instead, eat healthily and take L-arginine Plus.