If you’re interested in nutrition and taking better care of yourself, you’ve probably read a lot about why the Standard American Diet (SAD) is slowly killing us.
But a lot of what passes as sound nutritional information comes down to generalities or simply turns out to be bad science, outdated theory, or unfounded opinions.
If you want to stay healthy, enjoy a long life, and not worry everytime you get ready to eat, it’s time to educate yourself and stop ignoring the hidden culprits in the kitchen.
In the spirit of nutritional literacy, this article gets to the root of one of the processes whereby what we eat might actually be eating us.
All chronic degenerative diseases that are rampant today, including diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure, arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and other conditions associated with premature aging, are linked to oxidative stress.
Chances are you make not know what this really means and how it affects your health, other than it’s not such a good thing.
Oxidation is something that happens naturally. A freshly-cut apple turns brown, a bicycle fender becomes rusty and a copper penny suddenly turns green.
What do all of these events have in common? They are all examples of a natural biochemical process known as oxidation. It is defined as the interaction between oxygen molecules and all the different substances they may contact, from metal to living tissue.
The oxygen that we breathe exists in the form of O2… two atoms of oxygen bonded into a single molecule. During metabolism, atoms of the O2 molecule can lose an electron. The electron-deficient oxygen is then incorporated into a variety of molecules called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS, known as free radicals, play a significant role in oxidative stress.
Here’s what happens. Free radicals are created by pesticides and herbicides used to grow our produce, the excess carbohydrates in both refined and whole foods (glycation), overexposure to sunlight, and other sources of pollution in the environment, including electromagnetic radiation.
Free radicals steal electrons from other molecules throughout the body. The resultant oxidation damages proteins, fats, and our DNA.
Atherosclerosis, or what is commonly called, hardening of the arteries, is not actually due to LDL-C or total “bad” cholesterol levels. As a matter of fact, about half of all people who have heart attacks exhibit normal cholesterol levels. Cholesterol containing plaque develops because of the damage inflicted on the arterial walls through oxidized small LDL particles. These rogue oxidized molecules initiate a cascade of harmful immune reactions that result in cholesterol being deposited in the artery walls.
Oxidized cholesterol has long been recognized as a culprit in the atherosclerosis process. It’s rare to find a physician who can tell you about it because most physicians aren’t aware of the research.
Nutritional literacy is not taught in medical schools, and most of us don’t know why the Standard American Diet is killing us.
Ironically, the low-fat, high-carb diets recommended to prevent or even reverse atherosclerosis can, for some people, actually add to the oxidative stress that’s causing the problem.
So here are a few important dietary changes you can make…
- Eliminate fake foods from your diet.
- Welcome whole foods – mostly fresh fruits and vegetables
- Banish bad fats and substitute good fats.
- Let what you eat delight your senses. Eating delicious food that nourishes your body and soul is an upgrade to living right
Colorful vegetables and fruits are known for their antioxidant and antioxidant-stimulating properites. Adding foods rich in antioxidants to your diet will help quench those free radicals running rampant in your body. Karma Juice offers several organic juices and smoothies that are plentiful in antioxidants.
Organic produce is labeled organic when it has been grown, raised, harvested and packaged without the use of harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, growth hormones or antibiotics. Organic also means the produce has not been genetically modified.
Why not enjoy a Green Dragon or Blueberry Bliss smoothie right now. Take a look at our menu today and enjoy.