The deep-fried candy bars at the state fair may be hard to resist, but a new study suggests that their health risk may be greater than you realize.
Researchers in Scotland found that eating deep-fried Mars bars — a popular snack in the country — could slow blood flow to the brain, increasing the risk of stroke. The study only looked at 24 participants, and the researchers said the impact on blood flow was "modest," but that still doesn't bode well for deep-fried candy lovers.
Glasgow University researchers found that men with narrow arteries are most at risk. In male participants, blood flow to the brain was "modestly" decreased in as little as 90 minutes, which could affect the risk of stroke.
The study, published in the Scottish Medical Journal, concluded that "deep-fried Mars bar ingestion may acutely contribute to cerebral hypoperfusion in men," though similar effects were not seen in women. However, the study's sample size was small, and more research is needed to confirm the effects of sugary, fatty snacks on the brain.
"We've shown that eating a sugar and fat-laden snack can actually affect blood flow to the brain within minutes," William Dunn, who performed scans on volunteers, told The Daily Record. "This reduction in the reactivity of blood vessels in the brain has previously been linked to an increased stroke risk — but the changes we observed were modest."
Even so, it's probably best to lay off the fried candy.