Regardless of what the low-carb craze has tried to tell us, high fat diets are harmful to your health. Too much fat is implicated in virtually every major health problem, from obesity to insulin resistance to diabetes to heart disease. For more detailed information on this plus a plethora of hardcore science, check out the work of Dr. Michael Greger, author of the bestselling book How Not to Die and curator of the groundbreaking website NutritionFacts.org.
Once you understand just how damaging to your health fat can be, then what? After all, like sugar and salt, fat makes food taste great, and it’s hidden in virtually all processed foods. While the first step is obviously to cut back on fat intake and try to follow a healthy plant-based diet, there are other things you can do to mitigate the risks of dietary fat. Like, quite possibly, eating cinnamon.
Researchers suggest that cinnamon may offset some of the damage caused by a high-fat diet.
In a recent study, scientists found that cinnamon may play a big role in protecting us from the negative health effects of dietary fat. The researchers presented their results at the spring, 2017 scientific sessions of the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology/Peripheral Vascular Disease in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Cinnamon Vs. A High-Fat Diet
In the study presented recently in Minneapolis, two groups of rats were studied:
- One group of rats was fed a high-fat diet while also receiving cinnamon for 12 weeks.
- The second group was fed a high-fat diet without cinnamon supplements.
The results? The rats who received cinnamon supplements weighed less and developed less abdominal fat than the rats who didn’t get the cinnamon. Not only that, the rats who ate cinnamon had healthier blood glucose, insulin, and blood lipids than the other rats. And of special interest was the fact that the rats who ate cinnamon had fewer molecules associated fat storage.
Finally, the rats who received the spice had higher levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant molecules, both of which are associated with better health outcomes.
The research team believes their findings suggest that cinnamon may decrease the damaging effects of a high-fat diet.
High Fat Diets and Your Heart
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to conditions of heart and blood vessels such as heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, claiming 610,000 lives each year. Heart health is strongly linked to diet. Diets high in fat can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and many other negative health effects that lead to poor cardiovascular health.
How Cinnamon Blasts the Fat
Past studies have shown that cinnamon contains a polyphenol with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Both antioxidants and anti-inflammatories have strong health-protective effects, and may reduce the negative health impacts of dietary fat.
How Antioxidants Protect Your Heart
Antioxidants protect against oxidative stress from free radicals, and are associated with many health benefits, including lower risk of heart attack and heart disease.
While there is no replacement or shortcut that can replace the benefits of a truly healthful diet, a “perfect” diet is awfully hard to achieve. It helps to know that adding cinnamon to the foods and drinks you enjoy may help offset occasional indulgences. While adding cinnamon as a spice is probably completely safe, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor about any drug interactions or possible side effects when considering medicinal food, especially if you are considering a cinnamon supplement.