The snacks Those rich in starch, such as those based on white potatoes, are associated with a 50% increased risk of mortality overall.

Refined and fried carbohydrate-based snacks are harmful, compared to others like hummus.

The snacks between meals are still one of the great problems of the Western Diet, since it is usually about ultra-processed foods, very calorically dense, but reduced in quantity and nutritional quality. And, in turn, these same appetizers could be the great causes of the increased cardiovascular risk among the population.

At least that is what a new work published in the Journal of The American Heart Association, The Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA): snacks rich in starch, like those based on white potato, would be associated with a 50% higher risk of mortality overall, and a 44-57% higher risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease.

However, there is still hope. The same study would have suggested that, on the other side of the coin, the consumption of fruits, vegetables, or dairy products in specific foods would be associated with a lower risk of deathfor cardiovascular disease, cancer or any cause.

As Ying Li, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor at the Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene at the School of Public Health at Harbin Medical University, points out, more and more people are now concerned about what they eat, and also by when they eat. For this reason, Li and his team have tried to better understand the effects of certain foods and their timing of consumption.

Thus, for the study, data from 21,503 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) carried out in the United States between 2003 and 2014, in which the dietary patterns of the participants at all meals were evaluated.

To analyze these results, the researchers used the CDC National Mortality Index of the United States, taking into account the deaths that occurred up to December 31, 2015, and their causes.

During the study, the researchers ranked the participants’ dietary patterns based on the foods eaten at different meals. For the Main meals They were identified three patterns determined.

– At breakfast: western breakfast, starchy breakfast and fruit breakfast.

– At lunch or lunch: western food, vegetable food and fruit food.

– At dinner: western dinner, vegetable dinner and fruit dinner.

For snacks or meals between meals there were up to four patterns: snacks of grains, snacks with starch, snacks of fruits and snacks dairy products. And, on the other hand, if there were participants who did not fit into specific eating patterns, they were analyzed as a separate group.

Diet patterns and cardiovascular risk

As the researchers were able to identify, the western dietary patternwas the one that consumed the highest proportions of fat and protein, similar to what is produced in many foods in industrialized countries.

On the other hand, with regard to meals or lunches in particular, again Western food was characterized by being the richest food in refined grains, solid fats, cheese, added sugars and cured meat, with respect to the meals of other groups.

For their part, the participants in the fruit-based food or lunch group were those who consumed most of the servings of whole grains, fruits, yogurt, and nuts at the time of the meal, with respect to the other groups.

Finally, as far as dinner is concerned, the participants of the plant-based dinner were the ones who consumed the most of the meals. servings of dark vegetables, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, and other vegetables and legumes.

Thus, with respect to the different foods and the risk of mortality, the conclusions of the study were:

– A western food or lunch (based on refined grains, cheese, and cured meat) would be associated with a 44% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

– A fruit-based meal or lunch it would be associated with a 34% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

– A vegetable-based dinner it would be associated with a 23% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 31% lower mortality from any cause.

– One snack rich in starch, based on white potato for example, after any meal, would increase the risk of mortality from any cause up to 50-52%, and the risk of cardiovascular mortality especially up to 44-57%.

Therefore, the researchers suggest that not only the quantity matters, but also the moment of consumption of some foods, and if snacks are produced between main meals or not, and also their composition.

In spite of everything, the study is not without limitations: These are self-reported dietary patterns through surveys, and it is possible that there were confounding factors that were not taken into account.