"Healthy" Fast Food Is No Better for Your Heart
September 08, 2007
Research by the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany found so-called “healthy” fast food alternatives to have the same effect on the cardiovascular system as standard fast food meals.
Twenty-four healthy volunteers with an average age of 32 years, ate one of three fast food meals during one week, a different meal the second week, and the remaining meal the third week. The fast food meals consisted of:
1. Beef burger, fries, ketchup, lemon-flavored carbonated drink
2. Vegetarian burger, fries, ketchup, lemon-flavored carbonated drink
3. Vegetarian burger, salad, fruit, yogurt, orange juice
Surprisingly, according to lead investigator Dr. Tanja K. Rudolph, endothelial function was adversely affected within 2 to 4 hours after eating any of these three meals, with no statistically significant differences between them.
All three meals also had negative impact on other cardiovascular disease markers.
Endothelial cells line the inside of your blood vessels. These cells control blood flow by regulating the dilation of the blood vessels. When these endothelial cells are impaired, it can lead to high blood pressure or atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to Dr. Rudolph, "You can not prevent the harmful effects of fast food to the vascular system if you only add 'healthy components.'”
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition August, 2007 ;86(2):334-340
Reuters August 15, 2007