Thursday, February 12, 2015

Death By Food Pyramid

I first started following the very talented Denise Minger after she wrote a fantastic take-down of a book I previously thought was well-researched. She has a unique ability to make complicated stuff sound very simple, and for this reason I jumped at the chance to read her book, Death By Food Pyramid.

In it, Minger explains why the mainstream believes what it does about various facets of nutrition (e.g. saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol etc) by looking at the studies on which these beliefs are based. In many cases, the research does not support what morphed into conventional wisdom. Further studies have since disproved a lot of stuff that is currently believed, but changing conventional wisdom is very difficult to do. Minger then goes on to look at what the (good) research does suggest is optimal nutrition, taking care to note that much research is yet to be done.

It seems that this industry is held back by closed minds. Even if one starts with an open mind, once one is attached to a particular diet or point of view, the mind seems to close to other possibilities. Minger's book serves as a great reminder that the search for truth remains ongoing as we continue to try to better understand what foods work best (and least) for our bodies.

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