If you have been following my research, you know that I generally think that most natural fats, when eaten in the right quantities, are health promoting. It is only trans fats, and the highly processed oils – CCCS (canola, corn, cottonseed, and soybean), that I highly recommend against consuming due to long term negative health effects.
This being said, certain spices are extremely healthy, and can be added to the diet for significant benefits, whether or not one takes my recommendation to avoid trans fats and CCCS fats. A study reported this month in the Journal of Nutrition found that certain spices attenuated the negative effects of a high fat meal.
Before I continue, let me say that the effects that were studied, post-meal insulin and triglycerides, should more correctly be blamed on the carbohydrates in the meal, especially if refined (other reports on the internet are saying this is a study on high-fat foods). In fact, studies have shown those going on a low fat, high-carb diet have higher triglycerides than those consuming a lower carb, higher fat diet. In addition, post-meal insulin levels are reliant mainly on carbohydrate intake, and very little on fat intake. So in my estimation, the study should have said that spices attenuate the negative effects of carbohydrates, not fats.
Back to the study… the spices used were rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika. Compared with the same meal, sans spices, the spice meal lowered postprandial (post-meal) insulin by 21% and lowered postprandial triglycerides by 30%. These are markers that are significantly correlated with diabetes and heart disease, respectively.
In addition, antioxidant increases in the blood post-meal were twice as high in the group consuming the spices. Add this to the fact that several of the herbs are also proven effective at least in-vitro against some cancer lines, and against various pathogens, and it would be a mistake to not add spices to every meal possible. Can you counter an unhealthy meal with spices? Only partially, but hey – they even taste good, so go and spice away.
See the full Journal of Nutrition study here.
David Rodgers, MS Nutrition, is a nutritionist based in Michigan. He specializes in Chronic Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, and Multiple Sclerosis. Consultations are offered via phone, video conference, or in person. Natural therapy Lyme and Fibromyalgia webinar recordings are available free (see links).Read more