When we eat, our bodies use carbohydrate calories for energy and turn leftover calories into triglycerides that are stored in fat cells for later use. These dietary fats have important uses in the body, but eating too much of the wrong types of fats can result in a build-up of oxidized fats in the body, leading to disease. See the article Good and Bad fats Explained.
The study leader said:
"Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood.
The team prepared meals on two separate days for six men between the ages of 30 and 65 who were overweight, but otherwise healthy. The researchers added two tablespoons of culinary spices to each serving of the test meal, which consisted of chicken curry, Italian herb bread, and a cinnamon biscuit.
In the spiced meal, they used rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika. They selected these because they noted that these particular spices had potent antioxidant activity previously under controlled conditions in the lab.
High insulin levels can be toxic over time and cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries. "Antioxidants, like spices, may be important in reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing the risk of chronic disease," the researchers said.
They noted that adding two tablespoons of spices to meals did not cause stomach upset in the participants.
In the future, the team plans to investigate whether they can get the same results by adding smaller doses of spices to meals.
Research Paper Details:
Skulas-Ray A-C, Kris-Etherton PM, Teeter DL, et al. A High antioxidant Spice Blend Attenuates Postprandial Insulin and Triglyceride Responses and Increases Some Plasma Measures of antioxidant Activity in Healthy, overweight Men. Journal of nutrition, 2011; 141 (8): 1451.