A new study has revealed that a high fat diet with hydrogenated vegetable oil raise stroke risk in women. Hydrogenated vegetable oil is the oil used in many biscuits, pastries, crackers, cookies, margarine, takeaway foods etc. Good to see that butter was not the culprit. So start making your goodies rather then buying commercialised foods. Cyndi O’Meara
High-fat diets raise stroke risk in women: study
Eating a lot of fat, especially the kind that’s in biscuits and pastries, can significantly raise the risk of stroke for women over 50, a new study finds.
The study is the largest to look at stroke risk in women and across all types of fat.
It showed a clear trend: Those who ate the most fat had a 44 per cent higher risk of the most common type of stroke compared with those who ate the least.
“It’s a tremendous increase that is potentially avoidable,” said Dr Emil Matarese, stroke chief at St Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. “What’s bad for the heart is bad for the brain.”
He reviewed but did not help conduct the research, which was presented on Wednesday at an American Stroke Association conference.
It involved 87,230 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, a federally funded study best known for revealing health risks from taking hormone pills for menopause symptoms.
Before menopause, women traditionally have had less risk of stroke than similarly aged men, although this is changing as women increasingly battle obesity and other health problems.
After menopause, the risk rises and the gender advantage disappears, said Dr Ka He, a nutrition specialist and senior author of the study from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
He and another researcher, Sirin Yaemsiri, wanted to see whether dietary fat affected the odds.
Participants in the study had filled out detailed surveys on their diets when they enrolled, at ages 50 to 79.
Researchers put them into four groups based on how much fat they ate, and looked about seven years later to see how many had suffered a stroke caused by clogged blood vessels supplying the brain – the most common kind.
There were 288 strokes in the group of women who consumed the most fat each day (95 grams) versus 249 strokes in the group eating the least fat (25 grams), Yaemsiri told the conference.
After taking into account other factors that affect stroke risk – weight, race, smoking, exercise and use of alcohol, aspirin or hormone pills – researchers concluded that women who ate the most fat had a 44 per cent greater risk of stroke.
They also found a 30 per cent greater risk of stroke among women eating the most trans fat, which is common in stick margarine, fried foods and biscuits of all kinds.
“We need to look at the labels on the foods we buy,” because many of these fats are hidden in baked goods and people are not aware of how much they’re consuming, Matarese said.
“This is a simple way that any woman, especially postmenopausal women, can improve their health. Simply avoiding fried foods is a big one.”
The American Heart Association recommends limiting fat to less than 25 to 35 per cent of total calories, and trans fat to less than one per cent. The healthiest fats come from nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils.
“We don’t do a good enough job of emphasising the importance of a good diet,” said Dr Lee Schwamm, a stroke specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Pediatricians in particular need to address the risk for chubby kids.
“If you don’t change their patterns and problems in childhood, you’re really looking at a lifetime of obesity,” he said.
Source: Marilynn Marchione in FoodWeek Online, 25 February 2010, http://www.foodweek.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=53&ID=6628