This week, experts came out to say the O2 Diet, an antioxidant-based program by registered dietitian Keri Glassman that promises weight loss and beauty, may not make you any healthier. The O2 diet stresses eating foods that rank high on the ORAC scale and instead of counting calories, dieters count ORAC points, which stands for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity.”
According to Glassman, the ORAC scale measures how well a food protects against free radicals, which are substances in the body that may cause cancer, heart disease and other ailments. In February 2010, Glassman told Diets In Review that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants has been linked to strengthening the memory, improving the skin, and aiding in weight loss.
While these principles may be true, chemists and food scientists recently revealed that eating according to ORAC won’t necessarily make you any healthier, as ORAC testing is not standardized across the industry and was not designed to compare two foods against one another. Multiple factors, such as food storage, age and processing, can all affect a food’s ORAC score.
Though ORAC scores may be misleading, the O2 Diet is based on healthy guidelines and encourages eating a lot of good-for-you foods, a variety of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, high fiber whole grains and lean proteins, as well as occasional indulgences like O2 Diet’s aramelized Pear and Pecan French Toast. Glassman also suggests eating consistently through the day, drinking plenty of water and green tea, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and managing stress.
Despite recent developments in ORAC numbers’ meaning, market research firm Euromonitor International predicts that consumers may begin to see more ORAC numbers in advertising and on labels. To avoid label confusion at the grocery store, remember that while ORAC numbers can be a good indicator of nutrition, it’s the nutrition panel that will provide the most accurate information.
Keri Glassman, R.D. is the author of the super-popular new book The O2 Diet and a nationally-recognized nutrition expert. For years Keri has been a leader in advancing a “whole person” approach to health and wellness. She is also the author of The Snack Factor Diet.
DietsInReview.com had an opportunity to interview Keri on her breakthrough plan that helps you lose weight and feel and look beautiful, inside and out. Here is what she had to say about her easy-to-do and incredibly healthy O2 Diet program.
Can you briefly describe what The O2 Diet is?
The O2 Diet is based on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale that measures how well a food protects against free radicals, which are the culprits behind many cancers, heart disease, and symptoms of aging. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants has been linked to strengthening the memory, improving the skin, and aiding in weight loss. The O2 Diet is based on foods that will help you achieve your ideal weight and help you function better than you ever have. With the O2 Diet I am empowering you and giving you the tools to be your dietitian.
Why are antioxidants so important to our health?
Antioxidants are essential to our health because they help control the negative effects of free radicals on our bodies. Free radicals damage cellular structures such as DNA and cell membranes and this damage may cause cells to function poorly and mutate, which leads to many diseases and premature aging. Our body creates some antioxidants on its own, but we also need to get our antioxidants from the food we eat such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, and even some protein sources like meats, poultry, and fish. This is where the O2 Diet comes into play.
But the recently-released O2 Diet, also being called the antioxidant diet, takes the emphasis off of eating less and exercising and instead places it on the nutritional value of what you’re eating.
Created by registered dietitian Keri Glassman, The O2 Diet focuses on antioxidants, those tiny but powerful substances in food that help rid the body of free radical damage, which has been linked to everything from heart disease and cancer to Alzheimer’s disease and wrinkles. Using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, a measurement created by the USDA that calculates how well a food protects the body against free radicals, The O2 Diet has you counting ORAC points rather than calories, fat grams or carbs.