If you're a fan of spicy meals, new research offers good news: heavily spiced foods may be beneficial for the heart by substantially reducing triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, even in high-fat meals.
Photo by Clyde Robinson.
As NPR reports, Penn State researcher Sheila West compared two groups of healthy, overweight men who ate meals with and without added spice blends (the spices included garlic, oregano, paprika, rosemary and ginger). The group who ate the spiced meal had a decreased level of triglycerides by about one-third. West told NPR she was surprised by the large decrease.
We've seen before that spices like cayenne pepper might increase metabolism and help with appetite suppression, and this new study suggests even more benefits of spices, but of course more research is needed, including what the long-term benefits may be. Triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease, and the study also found lower insulin level in the group who ate the spicy food.
Still, if you like your food hot, keep on adding that spice. If you're not a spicy food lover, perhaps consider building up your spice tolerance.