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Fish and meat: Overheating increases the risk of high blood pressure


Highly heated meat can be a risk factor for high blood pressure

People often eat beef, chicken and fish several times a month. However, if these foods are cooked or grilled at high temperatures, it seems to increase the likelihood that consumers will develop hypertension.

  • If meat or fish is heated or grilled before consumption, this can lead to high blood pressure.
  • During the study, 37,123 subjects developed hypertension.
  • Heterocyclic aromatic amines increase the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Risk of high blood pressure can be reduced if people avoid fried foods.

The scientists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found in their current study that regular consumption of grilled beef, chicken and fish is more likely to be associated with high blood pressure. The doctors published the results of their study at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

The consumption of beef, poultry and fish has been closely examined

If beef is grilled at high temperature before being consumed or if it is heated too much during preparation, this can increase the risk of high blood pressure in humans who consume such foods regularly. For their study, the researchers analyzed the cooking methods and the development of high blood pressure in people who regularly consumed beef, poultry or fish.

Where did the investigation data come from?

The data used came from three different studies. A total of 32,925 women participated in the Nurses 'Health Study, 53,852 women were part of the Nurses' Health Study II and 17,104 men participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Detailed cooking information was collected in each of these long-term studies. None of the participants had high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or cancer at the start of the study. In the course of the follow-up period of 12 to 16 years, however, 37,123 subjects developed hypertension.

How much was the risk increased?

For those who reported eating at least two servings of red meat, chicken, or fish a week, the analysis showed an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. The risk was 17 percent higher if they ate grilled or roasted beef, chicken, or fish more than 15 times a month compared to people who ate such foods less than four times a month. The risk is also estimated to be increased by 17 percent when the highest levels of heterocyclic aromatic amines are present compared to those with the lowest intake. These amines are formed when meat protein is charred or exposed to high temperatures, the experts explain.

Why does blood pressure increase?

The researchers also found that the relationship between cooking temperature, preparation method, and hypertension was independent of the amount or type of food consumed. “The substances that are produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance in animal experiments, and these metabolic pathways can also lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure,” explains study author Gang Liu from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in a press release. Oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance affect the inner lining of blood vessels and are associated with the development of atherosclerosis, the disease process that underlies most heart diseases. This process then causes the arteries to narrow.

Were there any restrictions in the study?

It is important to note that this study identifies a trend but does not prove cause and effect, the scientists say. The results are of limited relevance because the data used came from questionnaires that did not take into account certain types of meat (such as pork and lamb) and certain preparation methods (such as steaming). Since the participants were all health professionals and were predominantly of Caucasian descent, the results cannot be transferred to other groups, say the doctors.

How do I protect myself from high blood pressure?

The results suggest that it can help lower the risk of high blood pressure if people don't eat fried foods and avoid the use of open flames and / or high-temperature cooking methods, explains study author Liu.

Statement from the American Heart Association on this issue

Statements and conclusions from study authors presented at the American Heart Association scientific meeting do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position, the American Heart Association said. The association therefore gives no assurance or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. (As)

Author and source information

Video: Superfoods To Lower High Blood Pressure (August 2020).