A survey of nearly 500 US adults found that while most of us eat mostly red, yellow and white, some fermented veggies are worth exploring.
While some fermented foods have been around for decades, this study was the first to measure the health effects of different types of fermented foods, and to evaluate the differences among the types.
Read more>>More than 1,000 people answered the survey, which was conducted online in December 2016.
The researchers found that those who drank more than two glasses of fermented food per day had higher levels of a type of inflammation called interleukin-6 (IL-6), and they also had higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The authors said that the study’s findings indicate that fermented foods can be a healthy alternative to traditional Western foods.
“While fermented foods are not a healthy dietary option, they do have a positive health benefit that may be a combination of their potential health benefits and their high fermentation content,” they wrote.
“Some of the fermented foods in our study, including fermented vegetables and grains, are commonly eaten in Western countries and the consumption of these foods may contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Dr. Jodi Dornan, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“However, our results do not suggest that fermented vegetables contribute to this association, which may be due to the fact that these foods are high in phytochemicals, which increase the risk of oxidative stress.”
Researchers also found that fermented food drinkers had a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
This finding may be explained by the fact some of the foods in this group contain phytates, which are compounds that protect against oxidative stress.
“This finding supports the concept that the phytate content of fermented vegetables may be protective against cardiovascular disease, because phytatoses have been shown to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes,” Dr. Dornon said.
The study was published online in the journal Am J Clin Nutr.