Spices stave off negative effects of fatty meals

August 11th, 2011 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 11 (IANS) Spices like turmeric and cinnamon are what you need to stave off the negative effects of a fat rich meal.

Researchers found that meals rich in these spices boosted antioxidant activity by 13 percent and decreased insulin response by about 20 percent.

“Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood,” said Sheila West, associate professor of biobehavioural health at the Penn State University in the US.

“If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased,” she said.

“We found that adding spices to a high-fat meal reduced triglyceride response by about 30 percent, compared to a similar meal with no spices added,” said West who led the study.

“Antioxidants, like spices, may be important in reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing the risk of chronic disease,” she said, reports the Journal of Nutrition.

The spice dose they used provided the equivalent amount of antioxidants contained in five ounces of red wine or 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate, added West, according to a university statement.

West and her colleagues added two tablespoons of culinary spices to each serving of the test meal, comprising chicken curry, Italian herb bread and a cinnamon biscuit.

The addition of spices did not cause stomach upset in the participants. “They enjoyed the food and had no gastrointestinal problems,” said co-author Ann Skulas-Ray.

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