< back to the wellness blog

July 23, 2009 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Heart Health

Be Kind to Your Arteries

Eating high glycemic carbs like white bread, white potatoes, and sweets (“The Great White Hazards” in my lingo), that send blood glucose soaring, appear to disrupt the function of the all-important cells lining our arteries known as endothelial cells.  Endothelial cells, when functioning properly, work like a Teflon coating in our arteries and maintain a smooth, robust and continuous blood flow.  Researchers found that healthy, but overweight study subjects fed a high glycemic breakfast, like cornflakes or white bread, had a significant reduction in blood flow within their arteries for 2 hours after eating.  (Journal of American College of Cardiology, June 2009)  Investigators concluded that the flash flood of blood glucose that ensues shortly after eating high glycemic foods is toxic for our endothelial cells.  These findings are especially relevant given that endothelial cell dysfunction is now considered the “risk of the risk factors” for cardiovascular disease.  High glycemic carbs, especially for those who are overweight, inactive, or diabetic are true metabolic torture devices that foster the development of heart disease, type II diabetes, weight gain, macular degeneration, and even some cancers.  Replace them with the carb foods known to protect and improve your health, namely whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.