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Thursday 5 January 2012

How can we eat to stay well?

The problem with eating well, or our health, is that we are so often given loads of conflicting advice. Take for example the issue of breast feeding. The are 'scientific' studies to show that it is best for mums; and for babies. And there are conflicting studies saying that formula milk is best.

This happens regularly; and it is probably quite intentional! It is done to confuse us. There is one simple rule of thumb to determine with 'science' is right, and which is not. Who paid for the research?!!? Unfortunately, this information is not always immediately available to us. So there is a second rule to follow. What is the more natural option? Clearly, humanity has been designed to feed our young with breast milk from the mother. Any 'science' which says otherwise is probably funded by those who produce, and make profits, from the alternative.

This article links the use of formula milk in the USA with baby deaths. Whether this is true of not, the article argues, interestingly, that food regulators tend to assume that processed food is always safe, and that locally produced food is always dangerous.

Some the claims of this 'cheque-book science' can be quite absurd! It has, for instance, let to the EU banning any claim that water can prevent dehydration! Apparently, according to an article that appeared in the Telegraph, this finding was made by 21 scientist in Italy, who concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control. Presumably, then 'dehydration' is a medical condition; and one that has nothing to do with water intake; and indeed, it is a medical condition that cannot be corrected by drinking water.

What about this research? Does sugar really accelerate the ageing process? The key here is the massive increase in sugar consumption over recent decades. It is used in lots of food processing and confectionary; it is not a 'natural' food; and we can live quite well without it. So it is probably correct. Yet we need to be careful here. Often, sugar consumption is attacked on the dubious basis that we are better off eating sweeteners; don't drink coke, it has sugar, and will make you fat; instead, drink 'diet' coke. If research suggests this, read this blog. You are better off with sugar than artificial sweeteners; but probably better off without both!

See, for example, this article on Aspartame linking it with both cancer and premature birth.

In this blog I will try to steer away from research that is clearly been used to promote processed, and largely unhealthy food - and here are a few articles that are linking what we eat to our health.

There are several article about Green Tea. It is always difficult to know just how clear-cut these claims are; but people having been drinking this tea for centuries; and it has always had the reputation of being a 'healthy' drink.
* This one links the drinking of Green Tea with reduced LDL Cholesterol levels.
* This one points to several studies linking Green Tea with reduced Cholesterol.
* This article associated the drinking of Green Tea and the prevention of cancer, and how much we should drink.
* And this one links Green Tea consumption with the prevention of Prostate Cancer.

And this two articles concern Probiotics - in an age when we have all been over-prescribed Antibiotics, without knowing just how dangerous to our health they can be.
* This article highlights 4 pieces of research that suggests Probiotics can reverse the damage done to our stomach by antibiotics.
* And this article appears to reinforce that message - that Probiotics can offset the damage caused by antibiotics.