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High Fat Meals and Long Periods of Sitting are Unhealthy for Your Heart

According to a new study, sitting for an extended period of time after eating a high-fat meal causes increases in cardiovascular disease markers.

High Fat Meals and Long Periods of Sitting are Unhealthy for Your Heart
Photo: High Fat Meals and Long Periods of Sitting | InStyleHealth

Thirteen young, healthy men were randomly allocated to eat either a high-fat (61 g) or low-fat (10 g) dinner, with 180 minutes of uninterrupted sitting in between. The next experiment session's meal allocations were then crossed over. Carotid-femoral (cf) and femoral-ankle (fa) pulse wave velocity (PWV), as well as aortic-femoral stiffness gradient (af-SG), were among the cardiovascular disease markers examined.

Participants' cfPWV changed significantly over the 180-min sitting period after eating a low-fat lunch (post-hoc mean difference [MD], 0.14 ms–1, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.05–0.34; Cohen's d=0.44). During prolonged sitting, however, the high-fat meal caused a substantial increase (post-hoc MD, 0.59 ms–1, 95 percent CI, 0.28–0.89; Cohen's d=1.12).

For faPWV, no significant interactions or main effects were found. Meanwhile, af-SG revealed no significant group impact, implying that the fat content of the diet had no bearing on the observed changes. However, there was a large time effect in both circumstances, demonstrating that af-SG deteriorated dramatically with time.

Participants' blood triglyceride levels increased significantly over time after eating a high-fat meal (170 min: MD, 65 mg/dL, 95 percent CI, 11–120; Cohen's d=1.52), as expected. Blood pressure levels did not differ significantly across groups.

"Taken together, these findings suggest that eating a high-fat lunch before a period of unbroken lengthy sitting may place additional stress on the cardiovascular system beyond sitting alone," the researchers concluded.

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