Healthy Bad Habits?

Okay, I’m sure you knew this already, but, the world has gone mad. Yesterday we learned that the ganja may actually halt lung cancer, and today, it seems fruity cocktails might be good for us. No, I’m not kidding. Reuters reports:
Adding ethanol — the type of alcohol found in rum, vodka, tequila and other spirits — boosted the antioxidant nutrients in strawberries and blackberries, the researchers found…

…Dr. Korakot Chanjirakul and colleagues at Kasetsart University in Thailand and scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture stumbled upon their finding unexpectedly.

They were exploring ways to help keep strawberries fresh during storage. Treating the berries with alcohol increased in antioxidant capacity and free radical scavenging activity, they found.
So next time you see some dude passed out on the beach in a puddle of strawberry daiquiri, you’ll know he’s a health guy. Oh, if you’re interested, here’s what Dr. Fuhrman has to say about consuming alcohol. From Eat to Live:
Moderate drinking had been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in more than forty prospective studies. This only applies to moderate drinking—defined as one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less for men. More than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other potential problems.1 Alcohol consumption also leads to mild withdrawal sensations the next day that are commonly mistaken for hunger. One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but I advise against higher levels of alcohol consumption.


Alcohol’s anti-clotting properties grant some protective effect against heart attacks, but this protective effect is valuable only in a person or population consuming a heart-disease-promoting diet. It is much wiser to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol completely and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. For example, even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and to occurrence of atrial fibrillation.2 Avoid alcohol and eat healthfully if possible, but if that one drink a day will make you stay with this plan much more successfully, then have it.
1. Dallongeville, J., N. Marecaux, P. Ducmetiere, et al. 1998. Influence of alcohol consumption and various beverages on waist girth and waist-to-hip ratio in a sample of French men and women. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 22 (12): 1178-83.

2. Wright, R. M., J.L. McManaman, and J.E. Rapine. 1999. Alcohol induced breast cancer: a proposed mechanism. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 26 (3-4): 348-54; Dorgan, J.F., D.J. Baer, P.S. Albert, et al. 2001. Serum hormones and the alcohol-breast cancer association in post menopausal women. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 93 (9): 710-16; Jancin, B. 2002. Just a few drinks raise risk of atrial fibrillation. Family Physician News, January 11:4.
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