Nutrition tip: Don t look to the media for what to eat

Related articles

Cherry red summer apple isolated on whiteHere s a hard truth: We don t know enough about human nutrition.

With all the discrepancies that have been reported lately in collecting data for nutrition studies we should probably throw out everything we ve learned about nutrition over the past century.

Coffee was forever bad for you, but now it s like a miracle drug. Eggs were good, then bad, then good and then I lost track somewhere along the line. Saturated fats were unequivocally bad for you, until all of a sudden they were ok.

It s hard to keep track of all this mayhem.

There s only one thing I do know: when someone tells you they know the truth about what you should and shouldn t be eating, they are almost certainly selling you something.

Two examples of this crossed the media circuit this week: Elizabeth Peyton Jones in the New York Post and Dan Buettner in the New York Times. Both personalities purport to know exactly how you should live in order to be healthy and live a long life, and it's no coincidence that both personalities are also trying to sell you their books.

Peyton-Jones, a naturopath AND an herbalist (so you can trust her twice), says eating these 20 foods (prepared using recipes in her cookbook) will make you look forever young!

The foods she is pushing are not revolutionary nor are they a secret you need to buy her book to learn about. In fact they are just the normal fruits and vegetables that everyone should be eating more of anyway. She even goes so far as to discredit others who use the term super foods."

However, that red citation needed light should be going off when she explains how eating her list of fruits and vegetables will help you look as good as she does (although objectively she does look swell).

Buettner on the other hand has a list of 12 things you should do to live a long life and some of them aren t that bad, although like Liz s list, they are painfully obvious.

His good tips:

  1. Go for long walks he really did his homework to come up with this one.
  2. It s O.K. to drink red wine It s like he s giving us permission to, yet I am uncertain as to who is telling us we can t.
  3. Skip the juicing Buettner surprisingly makes a frequent ACSH point here. There is no difference between added sugar and inherent sugar. So called natural fruit juices can have unhealthy levels of sugar just like some sodas do.

His bad tips range from general nonsense to pandering for veganism. He says we should stay away from dairy, meats, and fish. On the other hand he is ok with bread, but you have to make it yourself apparently the oven in your home has magic health distributing powers that the ovens at Arnold s don t.

But his final tip maybe the most outrageous. He says we will live longer if we all eat our meals with people we like, which I will certainly be using as an excuse to never share another meal with the in-laws: Sorry hunny, Dan says sharing a meal with your mother is literally bad for my health.