Research finds that eating starchy snacks is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease
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The lead author of the study, Dr. Li Ying, professor of the Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Harbin Medical University, China, said: “People are paying more and more attention to what they eat and when they eat. . Our team is trying to better understand the effects of different foods when consumed in certain diets.”
Li and his colleagues analyzed the results of 21,503 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2014 to evaluate the eating patterns of all meals. In the study population, 51% of the participants were women, and all participants were 30 years of age or older at the beginning of the study. To determine the patient’s outcome, the researchers used the National Death Index of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to record participants who died of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or any cause as of December 31, 2015.
Researchers categorized their eating patterns by analyzing what types of food the participants ate in different meals. For the main meals, three main dietary patterns for breakfast have been determined. Western breakfast, starch breakfast and fruit breakfast. Western-style lunch, vegetable lunch and fruit lunch have been identified as the main eating patterns for lunch. Western-style dinners, vegetable dinners and fruit dinners have been identified as the main eating patterns for evening meals.
For snacks, cereal snacks, starchy snacks, fruit snacks and dairy snacks are identified as the main snack mode between meals. In addition, participants who were not suitable for a particular dietary pattern were analyzed as a reference group. The researchers pointed out that the Western diet has a higher fat and protein ratio, which is similar to many North American diets.
Participants in the Western-style lunch group consumed the most refined grains, solid fats, cheese, added sugar, and cured meat. Participants in the fruit-based lunch group consumed the most whole grains, fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Participants in the vegetable-based dinner group consumed the most portions of dark vegetables, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, other vegetables, and beans. Participants who ate starchy snacks consumed the most amount of sweet potatoes.
Eating a Western-style lunch (usually containing refined grains, cheese, and cured meat) is associated with a 44% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease death.
Eating a fruit-based lunch is associated with a 34% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death.
Eating a vegetable-based dinner is associated with a 23% and 31% reduction in cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, respectively; and
Eating high starch content after any meal Snacks are associated with a 50-52% increase in the risk of death from all causes, and a 44-57% increase in the risk of death related to cardiovascular disease.
“Our results show that the amount and time of intake of various types of food are equally critical to maintaining optimal health,” Li said. “Future nutrition guidelines and intervention strategies can integrate the best time to consume food in the day.”
Limitations of this study include the fact that dietary data is self-reported by participants, which may lead to recall bias. Moreover, although the researchers controlled for potential confounders, they could not rule out other unmeasured confounders.