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How a Good Steak Dinner Might Protect Your Heart

How a Good Steak Dinner Might Protect Your Heart

How many times have you heard a meal of red meat, butter, eggs or other saturated fat-laden foods called "artery clogging" or "a recipe for a heart attack?" What if we have it all wrong and those fatty meals are actually protecting our hearts in the event of an attack?

That seems to be the message from a laboratory study from the University of Cincinnati which shows that short-term, high-fat "splurges" in your diet could trigger cardio-protective properties during a heart attack.

The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and it findings were presented  at the 2011 Experimental Biology Meeting sponsored by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.  It found that animals fed a high-fat regimen for a short-term achieved cardio-protection against myocardial infarction (heart attack) and suffered less cardiac tissue damage.

According to the primary researcher, Lauren Haar, a doctoral student in the Systems Biology and Physiology Graduate Program, "previous clinical studies have supported the idea that certain patients with high serum cholesterol levels have better survival rates when their heart fails after cardiac ischemic injury than those with lower cholesterol levels." So why are so many people on statins to lower their cholesterol?

According to Haar, the prior research on longer term high-fat diets in animals found an improvement in heart function. This study addressed the short-term effect of a high-fat diet on heart attacks.

Researchers fed one group of mice a high-fat diet (60 percent of the calories from saturated fat) for two weeks or less. A second group received the high-fat diet for six weeks, and a control group received a regular grain and vegetable diet.

When heart attacks were induced in the poor rats, the injury in those fed a high-fat diet for two weeks or less was reduced by 70 percent when compared to those fed a high-fat diet for six weeks, or fed the grain and vegetable diet. There was no cardio-protection observed in the six-week group, indicating to the researchers that short-term splurges are key, and the effects of sustained high-fat feeding, including obesity and diabetes, may not contribute to cardio-protection.

In addition, animals fed a high-fat diet for just 24 hours and then returned to the control diet for 24 hours prior to a heart attack experienced a prolonged protection against injury.  This led the researchers to conclude that short-term high-fat feeding at least in animal models preserves cardiac function.

While most nutrition and dietary advice continues to characterize high-saturated fat foods like red meat and butter as "bad," the science is proving otherwise.   

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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ancestral meat diet explained



This article explains the reason for my ancestors healthy diets (until my grandparents)! In Portugal, people only had access to meat on rare occasions.

They were eating mainly CH rich foods, virgin olive oil and vegetables, and once in a while, they would kill a goat or pig, mainly on festivities like Christmas or Easter. And they were very healthy and very resistant and strong. Do remember my grand father telling me that when he was a boy he used to go school on bare foot on the snow! because they were 6 brothers and buying boots to all was out of the question.

and heart problems were rare, only more frequent among rich people, that had access to sugar and refined flour...and everyday meat.

younger generations find this a fairy tale! and now they are all with health issues that not even the older people of those forgotten days had! they have a western diet with mcdonalds and similars and all the processed junk food.

nice info!

Ancestral diets



Thanks so much for sharing your story!  And you are so right about the association between heart disease and sugar/refined flour.  A good steak is better any day than processed junk. 

a good steak



so true! a good steak gives you a lot of good feeling that no processed food can! better if the cow only eat from pastures. you have to be that careful! otherwise you are not eating a cow but a frankencow!! or a processed junk cow!

i was a great carnivore until 25-27! loved meat at any hour of the day while doing lots of sport! today only eat meat (carefully choosen) 1 time per week and now my bones and muscles look like i'm 20 (i'm 43).

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Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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