THERE have been reports in the Press recently trying to debunk commonly held views about which foods are bad for us.

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Trying to debunk views, for instance, that salt in your diet causes high blood pressure. Carbohydrates and red meat are bad. Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy. Fresh is always better than frozen. Brown bread is better than white. And everyone needs tons of protein.

The trouble with these reports, though, is that they can mean both, all or nothing to all people. We are all individuals and what works for some doesn’t work for others.

What we need to remember above all, however, is that the diet industry is a multi-billion pound one that constantly needs to reinvent itself in order to keep us handing over our dosh. That’s what is behind the majority of these ‘reports’. What faddy diets do is sell lots of books to desperate people and fill up magazine/newspaper space. Common sense doesn’t make the snake oil brigade any money and so it generally isn’t encouraged. It’s not rocket science to know how to eat healthily. The only thing we really need to bear in mind is that people do vary, and that some people have an intolerance or allergy to certain foods. Some feel ill if they consume carrots or bananas. Others, avocados or watermelon. Odd, but true.

And there we have it, definitive proof of what to do and what not to do! But wait. Aren’t ‘reports’ like those plastered everywhere all the time, contradicting each other and offering basically zero science? How many articles on food analysis do we need? The problem is that the myths and facts are often all mixed up. Each author, physician or study gives a view that collides with another’s so that one person’s myth is another’s facts. 

Basically, almost all food is OK in moderation and moderate exercise is good for us – just as my old granny used to say. Nothing is new, it seems. Oh, how could we all be so naïve!

So, excuse me while I shoot off to the gym for my regular 90 minute session. And that’s no myth! 15 minutes of cardio. 15 minutes of weights. And 60 minutes of talking myself into it.

Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code (  available from Amazon in paperback/ eBook (€0.89; £0.77) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca


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