Occasional high-fat food splurges may protect against heart problems

15th April 2011

Doctors have been saying for years that the key to a healthy diet is low fat and low sugar, but recent research has shown that this advice may not always be right.

Researchers conducting investigations at the University of Cincinnati found that the effects of a short-term high-fat 'splurge' within a healthy diet can actually have a protective effect during a heart attack.

Three groups of mice were fed a high-fat diet, a low-fat diet, or a mix of the two over a six week period.

When researchers induced heart attacks in the groups, they found that the injury in mice fed a short-term fatty diet was reduced by 70 per cent.

Lead researcher Lauren Haar said: "This could mean great things for patient care if we can find the mechanisms that come into play to cause this cardioprotection. This also may show that, while it's important to eat right, not all 'bad' foods should be avoided all of the time."

Salty foods and foods high in saturated fat are thought to attribute to heart problems.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Haar, Lauren. "Short-Term, High-Fat Diet May Initiate Protection During Heart Attack." Experimental Biology Meeting sponsored by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 13th April 2011.

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