Saturday, September 9, 2017

Book Review: 'The Diet Myth' by Tim Spector

Does exercise help us lose weight? Should we avoid high-fat foods? What are the advantages and disadvantages of high-protein, Paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, and Mediterranean diets? How can a germ-free environment be deleterious to a child's development? Do artificial sweeteners help us take off pounds?

To gain some perspective on these and other topics, pick up "The Diet Myth," by Dr. Tim Spector, a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London. How are we to understand the nutritional advice passed on by experts who offer conflicting opinions on weight control and other health issues? Dr. Spector points out that, although there is still much that we do not understand about the workings of the human body, randomized controlled trials conducted by reputable scientists offer possible answers to some of the questions that puzzle us.

Spector organizes his material into nineteen detailed and well-written chapters that deal with a variety of topics, including fats, protein, carbs, fiber, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, cocoa, caffeine, alcohol, vitamins, and antibiotics. Spector's easygoing and conversational style, as well as his diverting anecdotes, makes "The Diet Myth" entertaining as well as educational. This book has no recipes nor does Dr. Spector push a "one size fits all" solution to obesity and the many ills that plague us today. Instead, the author sheds much needed light on nutrition, genetics, and the role of friendly bacteria in keeping us healthy. The microbes in our intestines, our inherited traits, and the foods we eat all influence how we feel and function. If knowledge is power, then this volume may prove to be a useful tool for those who seek "to expose and demystify many of the most dangerous myths about modern diets."

Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right

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