Grains are supposed to help your heart, aren't they?
It's surprising then that the Journal of the American Heart Association found eating starchy foods and snacks to be a leading cause of mortality when related to cardiovascular disease.
"Our results revealed that the amount and the intake time of various types of foods are equally critical for maintaining optimal health," said Ying Li, Ph.D., lead study author and professor in the department of nutrition and food hygiene at Harbin Medical University School of Public Health in Harbin, China. "Future nutrition guidelines and interventional strategies could integrate optimal consumption times for foods across the day."
Let's Take A Look At The Research
In the large study that spanned from 2003 to 2014, researchers took a look at various eating habits. Then, they looked at the participants who died up through 2015. They categorize food depending on what type of dietary pattern they had for different meals.
Of all the different types of ways of eating, they noted that the Western dietary patterns had a higher percentage of fat and proteins compared to many other ways of eating. During lunch, Western-type diet served more refined grains, cheese, sugar, and cured meats. It's not surprising, considering the sandwich is a very typical and easy lunch.
When they took a look at the lunches, they found that eating a Western-style lunch that closely resembles a sandwich increased cardiovascular death by 44%.
However, eating a fruit-based lunch reduce cardiovascular death by 34%.
Adding more vegetables to any meal reduced cardiovascular disease by 23 to 31%.
And again, snacking on foods high in starches increased mortality by around 50%.
The researchers concluded that starchy foods were a greater indicator of cardiovascular disease than any other way of eating.
Why Starches & Cereals Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
So, what's going on?
Why are starchy foods rather than meats and fats the culprit?
It looks like it comes down to a lack of nutrition and high sugars.
Many of the processed foods, particularly starchy foods, are processed. And in that processing, healthy fats, enzymes, nutrients, and other healthy vitamins and minerals are destroyed. Getting rid of the healthy stuff means the food products can last on the grocery store shelf for a long time.
But, because the food lacks nutrition, it doesn't do much for your body. The only thing it can really provide you is sugar.
More research is coming out about how sugar hurts your body. Typically, a person should consume between 50 and 75 grams of carbohydrates per day. But, unfortunately, the vast majority of people eating a typical Western diet consumed 300 or more grams of sugar daily.
It's showing up in more than just the waistline of people. These extra sugars are hurting everything.
The biggest problem is most people do not realize they're consuming this much sugar. They've been tricked by clever marketing to think grains are healthy because they provide fiber. And while that is true, the other half of the equation is that grains provide carbohydrates which turn into sugar in the body. So although it is good for you in small quantities, the amount people eat is simply excessive.
So, what does the body do with all those extra sugars?
The first thing is the body has to do is remove the toxic levels of sugar out of your blood to avoid poisoning (yes, you can get sugar poisoning). It uses insulin to do that. After a lifetime of eating like this, your pancreas eventually gets worn out, it's just too much.
Then, your body has to do something with the sugars, so it either puts it into fat storage, which makes people gain weight, or flush it through the kidneys, which is why many people with diabetes have kidney disease.
As sugars float around your system, they do a tremendous amount of damage. They cause cardiovascular disease by lining the arteries of your body with triglycerides. These triglycerides are a grouping of three sugars bound by a fat molecule that's a convenient storage system for the body. But an excess numbers, they cause many problems.
As the sugars get in your brain, they hurt it, causing Alzheimer's disease and dementia, often called type 3 diabetes. That's because the sugars attack the protective coating around the nerves in your brain and destroy memory. So it's sugar that causes the worst problems in your brain.
The simplest of solutions is to cut out sugars and grains from your diet. But, we know that's hard. That's why we recommend switching over to whole grains and learn to enjoy healthier versions of food you typically eat before moving on to completely cutting bread out of your life.
Once you start focusing on a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you can move into the category of preventing heart disease rather than just managing the symptoms.