Unhealthy Fruits Can beas Bad as Soda Pop

Grape griping

As you know, I spend a lot of time talking about meats, cheeses, and nuts as ideal foods. Because these beneficial foodstuffs are under fire from the mainstream's moronic "health" pundits (not to mention the animal-rights wackos and the political left), I feel the need to spill a lot of ink in their defense. And rightly so - these foods are the dietary cornerstones of REAL health and nutrition

However, I don't want to downplay the importance of other foods, too - like fruits. As I mentioned to you in the last Daily Dose, many different kinds of fruits can be made into wonderful substitutes for desserts and confections of all types, especially those killer milkshakes.

This makes them doubly beneficial: First, they're good for you in their own right - especially nutrient-rich bananas, strawberries, apples, pears, and tomatoes (yes, a fruit). And second, because they can take the place of something harmful in your diet - sweets.

But not all fruits are good for you - not by a long shot. Some of them are almost pure sugar, and their juices are just as bad for you as soda pop.

Case in point: Oranges and grapefruits. Yes, there's some Vitamin C to be had by eating these, and a few other things as well, but they're mostly just sugar. And the straight juices of either of these are no better for you (again, aside from the vitamins - which you can easily get in a sugarless supplement) than soda-pop.

Perhaps the most extreme example of not-so-good fruits are grapes. Aside from being really expensive, most varieties of grapes (especially the green ones) are virtually nutrition-less. They're good for one thing only, and that's tasting sweet. The red varieties are a little better, as they contain some valuable antioxidants, but for the most part, they all might as well be Hershey's kisses.

Even raisins are pretty much worthless, from a nutrition standpoint. And grape juice? Well, that's just sugar-water, pure and simple. A natural form of Kool-aid, and nothing more. Except, that is, for a specific KIND of grape juice, which I'll tell you about in a minute.

So before you accuse me of being a grape-hater, know this: I'm the biggest fan grapes ever had - when they're in the PROPER form for your good health. Keep reading

Grape greatness

How can grapes be both a favorite of mine and be on my "ten most wanted" list of food criminals?

Well, I already explained why I don't like grapes: They're bad for you - both from a health standpoint and from a fiscal point of view. However, one of the world's healthiest and most purely beneficial substances would not exist without them

Of course, I'm talking about wine.

Ironically, it is the very thing that makes grapes such a poor choice for a food (the fact that they're mostly sugar) that makes wine even possible. You see, the sugars in grape juice are what vintner-added yeasts feed upon during the wine-making process. The by-product of this low-level metabolism of sugars is alcohol. And as you've heard me say about a million times before, moderate consumption of alcohol is a great boon to your health on many levels.

It isn't just me saying that, either. Study after study have shown this to be true, but especially so for wine. Even the medical mainstream has grudgingly accepted what's known as the "French Paradox" - the fact that the red-wine-gulping French live far longer and enjoy lower incidences of major health problems than people in many other advanced nations. This, despite their rich, carb-heavy diets and propensity to chain-smoke full-nicotine European cigarettes.

Why is this? Back to the good ol' grape.

The skins of red varieties of grapes contain powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. These have been shown in much research to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke - and may even have a cancer-preventive benefit, as well. When red wine is made from these grapes, those potent antioxidants remain, along with a nice shot of healthy alcohol in place of the harmful sugar that was once the grape's downfall as a food.

Therein lies the real "paradox." In order to make grapes into a healthy food, you CAN'T EAT THEM.

You can only drink them. And you should. Every day.

Tipping a glass to your good health,

William Campbell Douglass II, MD

PS: I have to mention this for all you animal lovers out there. Dogs love grapes and raisins but they are deadly to them. They cause renal failure. So make sure to keep them out of paws way!