Starchy snacks may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease; fruits and vegetables at certain meals decreases the risk


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Can starchy snacks harm your heart health? New research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open-access journal of the American Heart Association, found that eating snacks with starchy rich in white potato or other starches after any meal was associated with at least a 50% higher risk of mortality and a 44- 57% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. In contrast, eating fruits, vegetables, or dairy products at specific meals is associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or any cause.

“People are increasingly concerned about what they eat and when they eat,” said Ying Li, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor in the department of nutrition and food hygiene at Harbin Medical University School of Public Health. of Harbin, China. “Our team tried to better understand the effects that different foods have when consumed on certain meals.”

Li and colleagues analyzed the results of 21,503 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2014 in the U.S. to assess the dietary patterns 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. National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Death Index to pinpoint participants who died by December 31, 2015 from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or any cause.

The researchers classified participants ’dietary patterns by analyzing what types of foods they ate at different meals. For main meals, three main dietary patterns for breakfast were identified: western breakfast, starchy breakfast, and fruit breakfast. Western lunch, vegetable lunch, and fruit lunch were identified as the main dietary patterns of half-day food. Western, vegetable and fruit dinners were identified as the main ones for dinner.

For snacks, grain snack, starchy snack, fruit snack, and dairy snack were identified as the main snack patterns between meals. In addition, participants who did not fit into specific food patterns as a reference group were analyzed. The researchers noted that the Western dietary pattern has higher proportions of fat and protein, which is similar to many American foods.

Participants in the Western food group consumed most of the servings of refined grain, solid fats, cheese, added sugars, and cured meat. Participants in the fruit-based food group consumed the majority of servings of whole grains, fruits, yogurt, and nuts. Participants in the vegetable-based dinner group consumed most of the servings of dark vegetables, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, other vegetables, and legumes. Participants consuming starchy snacks consumed most of the white potato portions.

According to its conclusions:

  • Eating a Western meal (which typically contained refined grains, cheese, cured meat) was associated with a 44% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease;
  • Eat a fruit-based fruit was associated with a 34% reduced risk of death from MCV;
  • Eating a vegetable dinner was associated with a 23% and 31% reduction in cardiovascular mortality and all causes, respectively; i
  • Consume one high in starch after any meal was associated with a 50-52% increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 44-57% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality.

“Our results revealed that the amount and timing of consumption of various types of foods are equally critical to maintaining optimal health,” Li said. “Future nutritional guidelines and intervention strategies could integrate optimal food consumption times throughout the day.”

Limitations in this study include that dietary data were self-reported by participants, which may lead to memory bias. And, although researchers controlled for possible confounders, other unmeasured confounding factors cannot be ruled out.

People who eat a vegetable dinner can reduce their risk of heart disease by ten percent

More information:
Journal of the American Heart Association (2021).

Citation: Starchy snacks may increase the risk of CVD; fruits and vegetables in certain meals decrease the risk (2021, June 23) recovered on June 23, 2021 at

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