It’s best to look to the middle ground, where most results are to be found
There have been zillions of articles in the press recently trying to debunk commonly-held views about which foods are bad for us. Trying to debunk views that salt causes high blood pressure. Carbohydrates and red meat are bad. Dairy products are fattening. Fresh is always better than frozen. And brown bread is better than white.
The same old, week after week, ‘report’, each producing more waffle than a Belgian baker. Dark chocolate, coffee, red wine, good for you because they have antioxidants which neutralise the free radicals in your body.
Next week, hang on! That earlier study was flawed, they’re actually bad for you, they have too much sugar.
Next month, they’re good for you again, they contain a newly-identified chemical that reacts with an amino acid/enzyme/protein in such a way that scientists only now comprehend.
And next month, sorry! Those findings were overhasty, it’s still bad for you. Let’s be honest, practically everything that feels good or tastes good is probably finally going to somehow make you ill anyway.
The trouble with all this ‘research’ is that it can mean both all or nothing to people. We’re all individuals and what works for some doesn’t work for others, and anyone who says otherwise is a bit like men claiming they only read Playboy ‘for the articles’.
It’s not unusual for research to produce conflicting results. It’s better to step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s important that neither nutritionists nor the public are swayed by one study that confirms their fears, or another that validates their enthusiasm. Look to the middle ground, where most results are found.
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 naive!
So, excuse me while I shoot off to the gym for my regular 90 minute session. And that’s no myth! In total, 15 minutes of cardio, 15 minutes of weights. And 60 minutes of talking myself into it.
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89,£0.79) and iBookstore. All profits to Cudeca charity.