High Salt Meals Effect Arteries

Just one meal high in saturated fat and salt impairs the arteries so much that, in a controlled study, doctors could hear the arteries struggling to keep blood flowing, even in young test participants. Dr. Robert Vogel, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland’s Medical Center in Baltimore saw fat discoloring blood that had been taken two hours after the heavy meal.

Arteries stiffened by just one meal high in saturated fat and salt “resemble the arteries of a person who has heart disease,” says Janet Wallace, a professor of kinesiology in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University in Bloomington. Regular exercise will help keep arteries supple, in addition to eating foods low in saturated fat and sodium, eating more fruits and vegetables and losing belly fat.