Antioxidants mitigate the harmful effects of junk food

So-called junk food is in particular characterized by having a high calory content - because of its high content of unhealthy fats - and a low content of vitamins and minerals.

With a number of studies, researchers have established that when eating junk food, a simultaneous increase in the amount of substances that promote inflammation in the blood occurs, lasting about 3 - 4 hours. Inflammatory processes in the vessel walls are what lead to atherosclerosis.

In one study, nine trial subjects each ate one egg & ham sandwich of 900 calories from a fast food restaurant.

By means of a series of blood samples taken before and after eating the sandwich, a dramatic increase was observed in the amount of free radicals and substances promoting inflammation in the blood; at the same time, the amount of anti-inflammatory substances was reduced. The study also showed that the content of sugar and fat in the blood inhibits the ability of the vessels to dilate and contract concurrently with the changing need for more or less blood to vital organs. This could also lead to blood pressure problems.

The series of experiments also showed that trial subjects who were given 1,200 I.U. of vitamin E and 500 mg. of vitamin C before a glucose load had fewer inflammatory substances in their blood and also avoided the increase in free radicals compared to the ones who were not given antioxidants.