20/04/2012 12:32 BST

Beetroot Could Protect Men From 'Bad Fats' In Burgers

Scientists are on the lookout for men to eat burgers - so they can test the health benefits of beetroot.

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen think adding the root vegetable to the meaty treat could stop the body from absorbing "bad fats" found in processed food, which have been linked to cancer and heart disease.

The researchers have come up with a recipe for their own turkey and beetroot burger, and are looking for healthy men to try it out.

The study is part of a wider Scottish Government-funded project to investigate the potential health benefits of Scottish produce.

Volunteers will be asked to eat turkey burgers with and without beetroot, and monitored to see which compounds their bodies absorb when they eat the different burgers.

Research leader Professor Garry Duthie, of the university's Rowett Research Institute of Nutrition and Health, said: "Processed food forms a major and increasing part of our diet. Consumption of high-fat convenience foods in Scotland increases year by year.

"We are looking to identify if adding a vegetable extract to processed food can actually protect the body from absorbing the 'bad' fats which exist in these types of products.

"We believe that adding a vegetable extract such as beetroot, which contains antioxidant compounds, will stop the oxidation of fat in the gut, and prohibit the body from absorbing the bad fat.

"Beetroot may also have the added health benefit of lowering blood pressure."

However, Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University, told HuffPost Lifestyle that new healthy products will not have much impact on our country's growing obesity crisis.

"The beetroot burger might be tasty and lovely to eat; it may even be low in fat and salt; it might even be a small portion. But one thing it won’t be is a ‘silver bullet’ to resolve the global and UK epidemic. That requires a system change not yet another new food product."

The scientists are looking for men between the ages of 21 and 60 for the four-day study at the Rowett Institute in Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire.