You can’t pick up a bottle of ketchup, a can of tomato soup, or a jar of tomato sauce anymore without learning all about lycopene, the wonder-antioxidant. And it’s been a really effective campaign. A lot of people nowadays, health-conscious or not, have some idea about what lycopene is.

That’s a great example of how most of the nutritional information we trust comes straight from advertisers . In other words, we decide whether a food is healthy based on what the people who sell it to us say about it — and you can bet they’re more worried about their profits than your health.

It’s also a great example of a huge mistake people make when trying to enhance their health. If a person is unhealthy, then, with incredibly few exceptions, his ill health is a result of his lifestyle, and will only improve when his lifestyle improves.

Unfortunately, the “lycopene” mentality tempts people with the idea that if they only add a few of the right foods or nutrients to their daily dietary intake, they can undo the damage they wreak on themselves for the rest of the day and night.

Resveratrol, lycopene, omega 3— these are only a few of the molecules currently being researched in the hopes that they will yield some miracle anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-headache, anti-joint pain, anti-anything pill or supplement.

But they won’t, and they can’t. Lycopene is an antioxidant (cholesterol is too,by the way) and antioxidants are very good for you. But one shot of antioxidants — especially in ketchup, for God’s sake — is not going to undo any significant portion of your unhealthy lifestyle.

Stop looking for the easy way out, because there is only one real solution: a natural diet, natural exercise, and a natural lifestyle. And once you get in the swing of things, once you clean that garbage out of your body, you’ll find that the natural way is the easiest and most enjoyable lifestyle there is.

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