Many of us worry about the effects of overindulging, over the Festive Season, and well we should! Eating large amounts of carbohydrate and fat rich food over a short period of time is a big shock to your system. But not wanting to be a party pooper I’d love to give you some good news: Drinking freshly squeezed orange juice with your feast can reduce some of the harm!
A 2010 study, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigated the effects of eating a high fat, high carbohydrate (HFHC) meal. The researchers investigated 30 healthy subjects, within normal weight limits, who were given a HFHC meal with either water, glucose water or orange juice. They measured multiple markers pre- and post-meal to determine the effects.
You can reduce the guilt of that festive meal with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
The Effects on the Body of a “Rich” HFHC Meal
The researchers showed that eating a large amount of carbohydrate and fat at one sitting:
Released high levels of fat and sugar into the bloodstream quickly (postprandial hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia) and levels remained high for over 1 hour.
Caused inflammatory and oxidative stress, which is prolonged - this increases risk of cardiovascular and inflammatory disease (such as arthritis).
Raised levels of compounds that cause cell death and increase the risk of gene mutation - which in turn increases cancer risk.
Increased insulin resistance - which is a precursor to diabetes.
While your body can eventually recover from an occasional HFHC meal, eating this type of food regularly cause cumulative, harmful effects on the body and increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and inflammatory disease.
The Benefits of Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
The researchers reported that freshly squeezed orange juice has a positive effect on blood markers, when taken with a HFHC meal and may counteract some of the damage caused. Orange juice contains many healthy compounds including flavonoids, naringenin, and hesperidin. In the study orange juice was shown have a positive effect on blood markers, that water and glucose water did not :
Blood glucose concentrations barely rose.
Significantly reduced inflammatory and oxidative stress.
Reduced compounds which increase cell death and mutation and insulin resistance.
Previous studies with pasteurized, refrigerated orange juice did not show the same level of improvement.
The consensus of health advice agrees that the healthiest diets are high in fresh vegetables and fruits and low in processed foods of any type, dairy and meat. Whilst it is better to avoid eating unhealthy food in the first place there are times of the year where many of us like to let our hair down and overindulge! Well now you can reduce the guilt of that festive meal with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Here’s to a very Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!
The study was looking at healthy individuals without pre-existing conditions or disease, so it is not known if these results are generalizable to the whole population. Please follow your physician’s advice at all times.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 Apr; 91(4): 940–949. Orange juice neutralizes the proinflammatory effect of a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal and prevents endotoxin increase and Toll-like receptor expression.Husam Ghanim et al.