Starchy snacks can increase risk of cardiovascular disease

·2-min read

New research has shown that starchy snacks are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from Harbin Medical University's School of Public Health in Harbin, China, conducted a study which investigated the relationship with the disease and certain type of meals and discovered that consuming a snack high in white potato or other starches after any meal was associated with a 50-52 per cent increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 44-57 per cent increased risk in cardiovascular disease-related mortality.

The team analysed the results of more 21,500 participants aged 30 or older in America's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2014 to investigate dietary patterns across all meals and noted which participants subsequently died of cardiovascular disease, cancer or any cause.

They categorised the participants, with those in the Western lunch group consuming the most servings of refined grain, solid fats, cheese, added sugars and cured meat; those in the fruit-based lunch group eating the most servings of whole grain, fruits, yogurt and nuts; the vegetable-based dinner participants consumed the most servings of dark, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, other vegetables and legumes, while the people who ate starchy snacks consumed the most servings of white potatoes.

The findings showed that eating a Western lunch was associated with a 44 per cent increased risk of cardiovascular disease death.

On the flipside, the experts discovered that eating a fruit-based lunch was linked to a 34 per cent reduced risk of CVD death, while consuming a vegetable-based dinner was associated with 23 per cent reduction in CVD mortality and 31 per decrease in all-cause mortality.

"Our results revealed that the amount and the intake time of various types of foods are equally critical for maintaining optimal health," said lead study author Ying Li, Ph.D. "Future nutrition guidelines and interventional strategies could integrate optimal consumption times for foods across the day."

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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