Did you know that the food you eat could be prematurely aging you? Science has made some amazing discoveries in the last decade in nutrition. We really should be taking note of what we put in our mouth because more than ever, we are what we eat. Do you know the impact of what you are eating? Probably not. It’s time to find out because over-indulgence in certain types of food causes the body to age prematurely.
Would you like some more free radicals with your lunch? There is frequent mention these days about “free radicals” and how they are constantly attacking the body, causing potentially serious damage.
A free radical is the name for a molecule that has an unpaired electron. They are a normal by-product of metabolism, and without them, you would die.
To put the record straight, it’s the over-production of free radicals that causes damage to the body. We are advised by nutritional experts to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. This is because they are rich in antioxidant phytonutrients — substances that neutralize free radicals and help protect the body.
One of the essential tasks of free radicals is in producing energy from the food you eat. Every time you eat, free radical activity is intense. The more food you eat, the more free radicals are formed, and the more antioxidants your body needs to neutralize them. Big meals are big trouble!
Effective antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E; minerals such as selenium and zinc; and herbs such as aloe vera and grapeseed extract.
Carbohydrates are root vegetables, pasta, rice, bread, grains, fruit, pastries, cakes, biscuits, crisps, sweets etc. They are easy to prepare, filling, tasty and cheap. Most meals are dominated by carbohydrates, and most of us fill up on them. When you eat carbohydrates, you’re eating a form of sugar.
The body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which is either used immediately for energy, or stored in fat cells. Carbohydrates make up an excessive proportion of the diet — add together a lack of exercise and excess sugar, and the inevitable result is excess weight.
By reducing your overall carbohydrate intake and reducing the size of your meals, you reduce your body’s exposure to free radical activity. When you reduce the amount of excess food at meals, you reduce your body’s exposure to free radical activity and the amount of excess food that gets stored as unwanted fat. A double bonus!
Food is in abundance — look around the supermarket shelves at the food mountain! Fill your cart, take it home and fill your kitchen cupboards. Fill your plate and your stomach till you can barely move. How many times a week do you overeat? How many free radicals are attacking your body and accelerating the aging process? You could choose to eat less.
Better still, keep a food diary for the next week, record each meal by drawing a plate divided up showing how much protein, carbohydrate, fat, vegetables and fruit you eat at each meal/snack. After a week you’ll be able to see for yourself how much sugar you are eating.