Study clarifies link between carbohydrates, heart disease

It has been known for decades that high-carbohydrate foods like cornflakes, white bread and French fries increase the risk of heart problems; but why high carb foods are bad for cardiac health was not known.

Now, a study by Tel Aviv University shows exactly how these foods increase the risk of heart problems.

The research team led by Michael Shechter of the university's Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Centre analysed data collected from 56 healthy volunteers.

The study subjects were divided into four groups, which were asked to eat different food items. The first group ate a cornflake mush mixed with milk, the second a pure sugar mixture, the third bran flakes, while the last group was given a placebo (water).

Over a period of four weeks, the doctors observed the arterial function of the study subjects using "brachial reactive testing", a clinical and research technique pioneered by Shechter's laboratory in Israel. 

It was found that arterial function of the study subjects were basically same at the beginning of the study. However, after eating the prescribed food, all of them had reduced functioning, except for the placebo group. Maximum arterial stress was found in the high glycemic index groups - the cornflakes and sugar group.