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The Antioxidant Myth


Antioxidants are everywhere.

Just as the “low-fat” labeling boom of the 1980s gave us a collective excuse to inhale the entire package of Snackwell’s cookies in just one sitting, industry vogue has recently turned to antioxidants to steer product sales.

Take a trip down the cereal aisle and you are sure to see unproven health claims unconscionably plastered alongside cartoon characters. Some read “25% MORE ANTIOXIDANTS!”. But let us not forget that an additional twenty-five percent of zero is still zero.

A nightly glass or two (maybe three) of red wine isn’t just a way to relax (or binge) anymore. It has become an act of health and preservation. Resveratrol, found in the skins of red grapes and thus red wines, has been shown to have powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties. Yet, so easily we forget about the free-radical producing pesticides in each non-organic glass. At the same time, we wonder why our blood sugars crash in the middle of the night waking us up. There has to be a better way.

And let’s not forget my own personal favorite, dark chocolate. Even I can’t resist the temptation to grab a bar on the way to the raw cheese aisle at Whole Foods. Why not? It’s got antioxidants! ☺