Walking Counters the Effects of a Fatty Meal

Walking Counters the Effects of a Fatty Meal
High-fat diets can lead to coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Did you know that eating just one high-fat meal impairs the blood vessels? After the meal, fats flood the bloodstream and trigger an inflammatory reaction in the cells lining the blood vessels. This makes them constrict, which impairs blood flow to vital organs and can cause a heart attack or stroke in people with cardiovascular disease. Restricted blood flow lasts up to six hours after a high-fat meal. Vigorous exercise within two hours of a fatty meal counters this, according to researchers from Indiana University. The subjects in their study ate a low-fat meal alone, a high-fat meal alone or a high-fat meal followed by a brisk, 45-minute walk on a treadmill. Arm blood flow decreased following the fatty meal, but increased when the high-fat meal was followed by a vigorous aerobics workout. Try to avoid meals high in saturated fats and trans fats. If you slip by eating a high-fat meal, protect your arteries by going for a brisk walk. (European Journal Applied Physiology, in press; published online, Aug. 2006)

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