Food In Canada

Adding spice may cut the fat

Study shows spices may help reduce the effects of high-fat foods

August 17, 2011   by Food in Canada staff

A new study has found that adding spices such as turmeric and cinnamon to high-fat meals may work to reduce the negative effects of those foods.

According to researchers at Penn State, adding antioxidant-rich spices to foods with a high fat content can work to lower the body’s triglyceride response by 30 per cent. Triglycerides are a type of fat that when found in high levels in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease.

Antioxidant rich

Researchers tested two different meals on separate occasions on a group of overweight yet otherwise healthy men aged 30 to 65. While the meals were the same, the test meals also included rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika, chosen because of their potent antioxidant activity. The spices provided the equivalent amount of antioxidants as five ounces of red wine, or 1.4 oz of dark chocolate.

Based on blood tests of the participants, the researchers found that after eating the spiced meals antioxidant activity in the blood increased 13 per cent, insulin response fell 20 per cent, and triglyceride response dropped about 30 per cent.


“Antioxidants, like spices, may be important in reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing the risk of chronic disease,” says researcher Sheila West, associate professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State.

Related: Consumers under-estimate sodium intake: Study

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