Scarcely a week goes by without another fad diet hitting our awareness in the news or social media. Dairy good/bad. Fats good/bad. Coffee good/bad. Proteins good/bad. Carbs good/bad. Repeat to fade. Confusing, isn’t it?
So this books stated aim is to review some of these diets, and debunk a few myths.
It also touches very heavily on gut microbes – the 100 trillion cells in out gut which digest and process our food. It seems our gut diversity is decreasing generation on generation, to our detriment.
We touch on a calorie not being a calorie – the simplistic unit of measurement has differing effects it seems depending on the food generating it and the person processing it. Genetically someone may be pre disposed to gaining or retaining weight, which is why particular diets and exercise regimes work for some, but not for others.
Fats and cholesterol, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, vitamins, antibiotics and allergies are all examined to debunk fad from fact.
The recurring themes are probably best summarised as fad diets lack much basis; our microbes need better diversity from better quality and more diverse food; and we could generally eat on a more intelligent basis from understanding the content of our food and the myths and facts.
The book isn’t a scientific work, its style is easy and readable, peppered with anecdotes and practical examples. Neither does it advocate yet another fad diet or way of eating – in this way the impartiality of the author is commended. It does provide a useful and thought provoking overview, and for that I feel its worth a read.