Just eat what you want

This is from the New Scientist:

(via Christopher Snowdon).

Update: Obviously you need vitamins and minerals to avoid getting conditions like scurvy and pellagra. Calcium for good bones. And if you eat too much you risk getting overweight (although as Jim says in the comments, genetics plays a big role in this). But as far as living a longer life goes, what you eat doesn’t matter that much, as long as you get enough calories, and get the basics.

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5 thoughts on “Just eat what you want

  1. I am convinced that one of the biggest issues that is going to face society in the coming decades is the realisation that our genes are the beginning and end of how our lives will pan out. Everything from health to wealth to death will be predicated in some way on our genetic inheritance. Even obvious self destructive behaviour (over eating, drug use, dangerous activities) will be the result of psychological tendencies that are genetically determined. Crime is going to be a big problem – it will become clear that most crime are being committed by people with certain genetically given traits, and it will fast become apparent that our concept of free will is little more than an illusion. And what do we do then, if one can predict with a decent amount of accuracy the life path of a given child, just by examining his or her genes at birth? How can we punish the criminals, if they can point to their genes as realistic mitigation for their behaviour? How can we encourage the feckless to work and look after themselves when they are genetically incapable of doing so?

  2. I used to obsess over researching healthy food, i.e. the right balance of polyunsaturated vs. monounsaturated fats, avoiding animal fats, not having too much coffee, etc. etc., and then I found that the advice kept changing.
    Finally I thought, how could butter possibly be bad for us? My ancestors have been eating it for many generations. How could a newly invented, processed oil like canola be better?
    I decided to stop researching healthy eating and just make sure I get enough energy, protein, and some fruit and veggies.
    Imagine the world a hundred years ago: Australians were eating a very high protein diet, Indians were eating rice and daal, Japanese were eating tofu and pickles, Kalahari bushmen were eating nothing but bush meat.
    How healthy they were on average depended mostly on how wealthy they were, i.e. how much of these they could eat and how many veggies, eggs etc. they could afford. The actual staples made little difference, and still don’t.
    Humans are like rats. We can eat anything. Just avoid junk food and you’ll be fine.

  3. I always liked the “Telegraph Diet” (which, topically, sounds a lot like Boris, who was on the leader-writing team at the time): “Eat less, and move about more”. Hard to argue with that.

  4. Eat less and move about more seems like good advice. If you move about enough, the eat less part doesn’t apply. I was fascinated by the chapter on diet in an ironman training manual. Main food groups are listed with minimum recommended quantities that you need to get down your gullet to keep you fueled up. I did one a couple of years ago and lost 10 kilos in weight despite eating by the ton. An extreme example I know but true nevertheless.

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