An article featured in January's Journal of the American College of Cardiology says blood sugar spikes after a high-glycemic index meal causes a stress response, inflammation, raised triglycerides, blood thickening, and blood vessel tightening. This is called "postprandial dysmetabolism" and it isn't good for your heart. In fact, it's "predictor of future cardiovascular events". The authors of the paper suggest some dietary changes that will improve this situation right away. The PDF is available for download ($4.95) and a summary is available at Medscape.
Some of the highlights from the Medscape summary:
- Eat high-fiber meals and whole grains; get some protein at each meal; avoid white flour
- Avoid highly-processed foods and beverages containing sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, white flour, or trans fats.
- "Berries, dark chocolate, red wine, tea, and pomegranates" reduce inflammation after meals.
- If you must eat a high-glycemic-index meal, seasoning it with "cinnamon slows gastric emptying and reduces [after-meal blood-sugar spikes]"
- Eat nuts 5 times a week after meals
- Season meals with vinegar to lower your blood sugar and feel more full.
- While you are exercising, your blood sugar and triglycerides drop almost immediately.
The abstract also mentions fish oil, but the Medscape summary doesn't have anything more to say about it or omega-3 fatty acids...
- J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Jan 22;51(3):249-55. Dietary strategies for improving post-prandial glucose, lipids, inflammation, and cardiovascular health. O'Keefe JH, Gheewala NM, O'Keefe JO. Summary or full article available from medscape.
- Endocr Pract. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):112-24. Postprandial dysmetabolism: the missing link between diabetes and cardiovascular events?. Bell DS, O'Keefe JH, Jellinger P.