According to Australian scientists fast food meals may be quick and easy, but no matter how we justify them, we know they are loaded with fat. Now there is new reason to restrict the junk you eat. Your arteries stiffen within hours.
Researcher Paul Nestel, of melbourne's Baker Medical Research Institute, fed 10 volunteers a simple meal of a ham and cheese sandwich with butter, whole milk and ice cream (the meal delivered 50 grams of fat). Another group ate a low-fat meal of cereal with low-fat milk, bread with low-fat spreads and fruits (totalling six fat grams).
Nestel relied on ultrasound imaging to track the arteries. While the blood vessels were unaffected by the low-fat meal, arteries in people who ate the high fat meal stiffened within three to six hours, losing 20 percent of their ability to accomodate the blood travelling through them. Though Nestel thinks the effect lasted only a few hours, he believes that regularly eating high-fat meals could lead to permanent changes and raise the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.