DR. WALLACE: Since alcohol that humans drink is made from fresh fruits and grains, why is it harmful for us to consume it? Because it's actually drawn from natural foods, one would think it should make humans healthy, not sick. — Curious George, Salt Lake City
CURIOUS GEORGE: The alcohol people drink, which is called ethyl alcohol, is the result of fermentation of a fruit, vegetable or green. In this process of decay, all the food's nutritional value is lost. What's left is a highly addictive drug that has the capability to destroy lives when abused and, unfortunately, contains an abundance of fat-producing calories. Eating fresh fruits and grains can often be win-win, but drinking too much alcohol is decidedly lose-lose.
TELL HIM TO GET LOST
DR. WALLACE: I'm 18 and dating a guy who is 20. I met him at a concert in which he told me he was engaged, but he wasn't sure if he was going to marry his girl after all. He asked me for my phone number, and I hesitated but finally gave it to him. The following week, he called and asked me out. I asked him if he was still engaged, and he said no, so I agreed to go out with him. We dated for about a month, and I found him to be very charming.
About a week ago, I received a telephone call from a girl who claims to be his fiancee. She asked me to meet her for a chat, and I agreed. We met, and the girl showed me the engagement ring he had recently bought her. She said she loved him but was shocked to find out he had been dating me during their engagement. It seems that one of her friends, who also knows who I am, saw us together and witnessed a kiss between us. His fiancee was very nice. She said that if I really love him, she would return the ring, and he would be all mine.
I do like him, but I don't love him. If he weren't engaged, I wouldn't have minded spending more time with him. What do you think I should do? If his fiancee had been nasty, I would have told her to get lost, but, unfortunately, she was nice. — Puzzled "Girl on the Side" via email
PUZZLED GIRL: I suggest you remain puzzled no longer. This guy is a two-timer whose word is worthless. He is obviously of low moral character, and if you were to become further involved with him, what would keep him from doing the very same thing to you that he did to her? If you're smart, you'll tell him that you do not have any interest in spending further time with him. Since you aren't in love with him, the damage will be minimal. I truly hope his fiancee also dumps him, for her sake.
THE SCOOP ON POPCORN
DR. WALLACE: I gained 12 pounds over summer vacation, and so now I'm going on a healthy, low-calorie fruit and vegetable diet. I plan to lose a pound or two per week. I want to get back in shape for basketball season. I'm a senior and have been elected team captain, so I don't want the fans to think I'm out of shape when I'm on the court.
My problem is I feel I'm addicted to popcorn. I've heard that popcorn is a good, healthy food, but I've also been told popcorn is a junk food loaded with calories. What's the real scoop on my favorite crunch? — Popcorn Patty, Lincoln, Nebraska
POPCORN PATTY: Air-popped popcorn can be eaten, within reason, in large amounts when on a diet. It's a great food full of fiber and vitamins. It becomes a no-no when lots of melted butter and salt cause the corn kernels to float like leaves on a pond.
I suggest instead that you load up on broccoli, the No. 1 vegetable for dieters, and cantaloupe, the No. 1 fruit in this regard. Add an aerobic exercise program to burn calories, and never load up on food two hours before going to bed. Make these adjustments, and you'll be fit for the court in short order.
And the final tip: Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly is a smart idea. It gives your stomach time to tell your brain that enough is enough!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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