How OJ Helps You Through A Fast Food Meal

April 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition


Ever wondered why fast food places also sell healthy orange juice along with their high fat, high-carbohydrate fast-food meals? They may not know it, but by eating foods containing flavonoids, particularly orange juice, with such meals it helps neutralise the oxidative and inflammatory stress generated by the such food and helps prevent blood vessel damage.

Endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, studied the effect of the preventative effect of orange juice on the risk of heart attack and stroke. Free radicals are known to induce inflammation in blood vessel linings and contribute to those conditions and they believed orange juice might be a key as it is heavily loaded with the flavonoids naringenin and hesperidin, which are major antioxidants.

They found that drinking orange juice with a meal high in fat and carbohydrates prevented the marked increases in inflammatory agents and that did not happen when study participants drank water or a sugary drink with the meal. The high dose of free radicals in fast food meals are a risk because the resultant high glucose and high triglycerides are known to be related to the development of cardiovascular events.

So what did the study subjects eat? It was based it on a typical fast food 900-calorie breakfast composed of an egg “muffin” sandwich, a sausage “muffin” sandwich and a serving of hash browns. The meal contained 81 grams of carbohydrates, 51 grams of fat and 32 grams protein.

Along with the breakfast, one group drank 300 calories of “not-from-concentrate” orange juice, a second group drank a 300-calorie glucose drink and the third group drank an equal amount of water. All participants were given 15 minutes to finish their food and drink. Blood samples were collected before the meal and at 1, 3 and 5 hours afterwards.

Analysis of the samples after the meal showed that oxygen free radicals increased an average of 62 percent with water, 63 percent with the glucose and 47 percent with orange juice. There also was an increase in blood components known as toll-like receptors, which play an important role in the development of inflammation, atherosclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, and injury to cardiac cells than can occur after a blocked vessel is reopened. Orange juice also prevented a significant increase in SOCS-3, an important mediator of insulin resistance, which contributes to development of type 2 diabetes.

So if you are having a fast food meal make sure you get a glass of real orange juice to mitigate the damage, but I have to say that starting the day with a 900 calorie fat and carbohydrate feast is not the best way to stay healthy. Couldn’t they just have suggested halving the calorie count and having orange juice as a better option?

Criminals watch your diet!

This story is irresistible to a woman who writes so often about the effects of diet on health. What I didn’t realise is that what you eat could also get you banged up! Dr John Bond, a researcher at the University of Leicester and scientific support officer at Northamptonshire Police, is the inventor of a revolutionary forensic fingerprint technique that will help put unhealthy criminals behind bars.

He claims that criminals who eat processed foods are more likely to be discovered by police because their fingerprint sweat corrodes metal – just shows you what fast food does to your stomach if just the sweat can eat away an external surface like that! Apparently the police already love consumers of processed foods as they tend to be leave better fingerprints for the police to identify.

It’s down to the fact that sweaty fingerprint marks made more of a corrosive impression on metal if they had a high salt content – and processed food, fish and chips and burgers tend to be high in salt as a preservative. The body needs to excrete excess salt, which comes out as sweat through the pores in our fingers, and so when you touch a surface it will be high in salt if you eat a lot of processed foods – the higher the salt, the better the corrosion of the metal.

Not sure whether I should be encouraging fast food diets in criminals, to aid their capture, or encourage them to switch to the Mediterranean diet!