Can Starchy Snacks Affect Heart Health? New research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access journal for the American Heart Association, found that eating starchy snacks high in white potatoes or other starchy foods after any meal was associated with an increased risk of death of at least 50 % and an increased risk of 44 to 57% of death from cardiovascular disease. Conversely, eating fruits, vegetables, or dairy products at specific meals is associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or any other cause.
âPeople are more and more concerned about what and when they eat,â said Ying Li, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene at the United Nations. Harbin Medical University School of Public Health in Harbin, China. “Our team sought to better understand the effects of different foods when eaten at certain meals.”
Li and his colleagues analyzed the results of 21,503 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2014 in the United States to assess the eating habits of all meals. Among the study population, 51% of participants were women and all participants were 30 years of age or older at the start of the study. To determine patient outcomes, the researchers used the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Death Index to note participants who died up to December 31, 2015, from cardiovascular disease, d ‘cancer or any other cause.
Researchers categorized participants’ eating habits by analyzing the types of foods they ate at different meals. For the main meals, three main eating patterns were identified for the morning meal: the Western breakfast, the starchy breakfast, and the fruit breakfast. Western lunch, vegetable lunch, and fruit lunch have been identified as the main eating patterns for the midday meal. Western dinner, vegetable dinner, and fruit dinner have been identified as the main eating patterns of the evening meal.
For snacks, cereal snacks, starchy snacks, fruit snacks and milk snacks have been identified as the main types of between-meal snacks. Additionally, participants who did not fit specific meal regimens were analyzed as a comparison group. Researchers noted that the Western diet has higher proportions of fat and protein, which is similar to many North American meals.
Participants in the Western lunch group consumed the most servings of refined grains, solid fats, cheese, added sugars, and cold meats. Participants in the fruit-based lunch group consumed the most servings of whole grains, fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Participants in the vegetable-based dinner group consumed the most servings of dark vegetables, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, other vegetables, and legumes. Participants who ate starchy snacks consumed the most servings of white potatoes.
According to their findings:
- Eating a Western lunch (usually containing refined grains, cheese, cold cuts) was associated with a 44% increased risk of death from CVD;
- Eating a fruit-based breakfast was associated with a 34% reduction in the risk of CVD death;
- Eating a vegetable-based dinner was associated with a 23% and 31% reduction in CVD and all-cause mortality, respectively; and
- Consumption of a high starch snack after any meal was associated with a 50 to 52% increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 44 to 57% increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.
âOur results revealed that the amount and timing of consuming various types of foods are also essential for maintaining optimal health,â Li said. âFuture nutritional guidelines and intervention strategies could incorporate optimal consumption times. for food throughout the day. “
The limitations of this study include the fact that the dietary data was self-reported by the participants, which can lead to recall bias. And, although the researchers controlled for potential confounders, other unmeasured confounders cannot be ruled out.
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