High quality diets are protective of cardiovascular disease. High quality diets are high in unrefined whole grain cereals, micronutrients, protein, unprocessed meats, plant foods rich in fibre, fatty fish, and dairy. However, while high quality diets contain many of the nutrients that are beneficial to the health and provide a positive health outcome, they are also devoid of anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are metabolic poisons that have detrimental health effects.
The Two Worst Metabolic Poisons
Metabolic poisons do what they say on the tin. They poison the metabolism and create an internal milieu that is characterised by metabolic dysfunction. Sugar is a metabolic poison because it contains a molecule of fructose, a known anti-nutrient. Other commonly eaten metabolic poisons are synthetic trans fats that are a by product of vegetable hydrogenation. Alone these metabolic poisons are deleterious, but in combination they can seriously damage your long term health.
Sugar: Sweet and Deadly
Sugar contains fructose, excessive intakes of which poison the metabolism. The processing of fructose is similar to alcohol, and whereas chronic alcohol consumption can cause alcoholic fatty liver, chronic consumption of fructose can cause non-alcoholic liver. Once the liver has been poisoned in this way, a number of systems in the body become disrupted. Cholesterol, glucose and fatty acid metabolism all become deleteriously affected and this lead to further health problems.
trans Fats: Not-So-Sweet, Just As Deadly
Natural vegetable oils are in the cis-configuration. This means the fatty acid chains have a natural kink to their structure. When such liquid are hydrogenated to make solid fats for vegetable spreads, trans fats can be produced. These fats when consumed in solid vegetable oils are metabolic poisons that interfere with essential fatty acid metabolism. The result is inflammation and oxidative stress that damage the artery linings and cause cardiovascular disease.
Avoiding Metabolic Poisons
Luckily it is easy to avoid sugar and trans fats and thus prevent poisoning. This is because sugar and trans fats are only in certain foods and avoiding these foods eliminated such poisons from the diet. Both trans fats and sugar are present in low quality processed foods. Generally the Western diet contains high amounts of these foods which explains the increased risk of cardiovascular disease found in Western populations who consume such junk foods regularly.