Professor Scott Lear spearheaded a research project where diets from diverse populations, from around the world, were compared and analysed in terms of the health outcomes they produced. Interestingly, in the data that spanned over 21 countries, 137,130 participants, and across 16 years, one result was illuminating. Professor Lear and his team found that consuming a high number of croissants, for example, is associated with a higher risk of major cardiovascular disease, including stroke and early death.
The researchers stated that having “more than seven servings of refined grains per day was associated with a 27 percent greater risk for early death”.
Furthermore, seven servings of refined grains within a day was associated with a 47 percent greater risk of a stroke.
“This study re-affirms previous work indicating a healthy diet includes limiting overly processed and refined foods,” said Professor Lear.
Meanwhile, no significant adverse health effects were found with consuming whole grains or white rice.
Baked goods, such as croissants, are classified as “processed foods” by Medical News Today.
Processed foods can have negative health effects, as they usually have little nutritional value.
Registered dietician Amanda Baker verified that croissants are “relatively high in calories and in saturated fat”.
A typical large croissant contains around 14g of fat, 31g of carbohydrates, and 272 calories.
You can, however, still enjoy croissants if you eat them in moderation alongside a healthy diet.
The Stroke Association said: “Even making small changes to your eating habits can make a difference to your overall health.”
By eating a healthy, balanced diet you can lower blood pressure and control blood sugar – two factors that influence stroke risk.
The mainstays of healthy eating include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, eating more fibre, and healthy protein.
To elaborate, aim to have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
Furthermore, include more fibre-rich foods, such as brown rice and whole wheat couscous, into your diet.
As for healthy protein, this includes beans, lentils and lean cuts of meat.
Other healthy protein options include oily fish, such as mackerel, sardines, or salmon.
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