One of my favorite websites I keep going back to for reliable information, is a section on the NHS site they call “Behind the Headlines” (click here). Here they take a look at some of the major health stories in the papers, and give you the facts. Take a look at just a few of the ways the papers blow a health story out of all proportion, and you will understand why one of my favorite saying at the moment is:
Never believe the headlines!
So I want to direct you to a document you can download for free. It is called “Miracle foods: Myths and the media”. It is only 11 pages long and a very easy, but eye-opening read. Click here to download it from the NHS website. Click here to download it from me. The bits I liked best were:
- The list of 14 foods that the newspapers had said were both healthy and dangerous.
- The explanations of why we should not worry about most of these news stories.
But by far my favorites were the very simple conclusions they round up with. And here are some of those conclusions (with my comments in brackets):
- Drinking alcohol increases cancer risk (so stop kidding yourself that the bottle of wine you just downed is “medicinal”).
- Eating your greens reduces your cancer risk (probably the single, simplest thing all of us can do to improve our health/weight, is to at least double the amount of veggies we are currently eating).
- A Mediterranean diet increases your chances of living to a healthy old age (this diet consists of relatively high proportions of fish, olive oil, fruit and veg, while relatively low proportions of meat and processed food).
And the final paragraph sums it all up:
“When it comes to keeping healthy, it’s best not to concentrate on any one food in the hope it will work miracles. Current advice is to eat a balanced diet with a range of foods, to ensure you get enough of the nutrients your body needs. Limiting your intake of alcohol and high fat, high sugar, salty and processed foods, keeping to a healthy weight and regular physical activity are also important.”
Or put another way, follow the 10 simple rules of healthy eating (click here). So I guess my take-home message is quite simple:
Relax, stop worrying that your food is about to kill you and your whole family, and just eat a damn carrot/mushroom/melon/cabbage/leak/turnip/pepper!
(I know I have already posted this video…but I have a very simple sense of humour and it still makes me giggle!)
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