Posted 20 hours ago

Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well, by the #1 bestselling author of SPOON-FED

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Other findings seem counterintuitive, but are often deliciously reassuring. Two cups of Americano coffee provide more fibre than a banana. You can reheat rice; unopened mussels won’t kill you; and eating meat doesn’t give you cancer (though “replacing 30% of traditional burger meat with mushrooms or fungi would be the equivalent of taking 2m cars off the road”). Some sources of nutrition are more beneficial together, like corn with beans, or “a glass of red wine daily with friends”. Replacing sugar, salt, fat and gluten with weird and untested chemicals is usually pointless and probably dangerous, and the 1980s advice to change butter and cream for margarines and vegetable oils was “one of the biggest health scandals ever”. I'm always interested in what Tim Spector has to say, he's evidence based, balanced and not afraid to say when we've been wrong about health assumptions. A thoroughly well-researched yet digestible (ha ha) book that would be better described as a ‘bible’, as I will continue to refer to it religiously going forward.

Food is our greatest ally for good health, but the question of what to eat in the age of ultra-processed food has never seemed so complicated. Bestselling author and scientist Tim Spector offers clear answers in this definitive, easy-to-follow guide to the new science of eating well.This stands well as a companion to Dan Saladino’s Eating to Extinction: The World's Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, which won the Wainwright Conservation Prize last year, 2022. Combining cutting-edge research with a personal insights, and taking a wide angle lens on everything from environmental impact and food fraud to allergies and deceptive labelling, Spector takes a deep dive into each food type. Food for Life also includes easy-to-implement action points and useful tables as practical tools in our everyday food decisions, presented in a novel and comprehensive format. Ultimately, this book encourages us to fall in love again with food and celebrate its many wondrous properties, which science is still only just beginning to understand.

Taking a wide-angle lens on everything from environmental impact and food fraud to allergies and deceptive labelling, Spector shows us the many wondrous and surprising properties of everyday foods, which scientists are only just beginning to understand. Tim Spector is a renowned Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College and Director of the TwinsUK Registry, a vast data collection from 11,000 twins. He constantly mentions many people get different results and will occasionally give averaged results as well as his own. But the issue I have is some people might treat this as gospel (its in a book and if it works for him it must work for me!). Most people reading this book would not be able to access this kind of personalised data and some of these results suggest certain foods (whole, unprocessed, fresh- like certain fruits or vegetables) should be avoided or at least reduced to occasional treats. I just cannot get enthusiastic about that. If you love bananas, eat the damn banana! It is a better choice than many you could be making like donuts, chips or chocolate. Likewise his attitude toward the use of pesticides in farming. Ok, I agree pesticides are not ideal however "Organic" does not equal no pesticides - it just means certain pesticides are not used. And again, eating non-organic fresh veg that you can afford is better than stressing yourself trying to afford smaller amounts of organic veg and filling up with processed foods. If you can afford it, great! Go for your life, but there is already so much stress and guilt around food (especially for women) why add more?There are specific chapters on each food group you can dip into and out of as you need to without having to read the book from cover to cover.

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