“If you adopt an eating pattern that has stood the test of generations, you are almost certain to be better off than with a diet introduced as breaking news.”

Mark Bittman & David L. Katz:

The now-constant barrage of headlines about nutrition science can make us feel like we’re doing everything wrong. Some people respond by tuning out and continuing to eat what’s familiar. Others jump on the bandwagon of each thrilling new diet that promises everything. Most of these deliver temporary results from severe restrictions that no one can maintain. Rapid weight loss is followed by rapid regain, creating a desperation that makes people eager for the next promise of magic.

There is no one best diet. Good diets can be low or high in fat or carbohydrates, as long as they are made up of wholesome foods, and mostly plants. The quintessentially healthy Mediterranean diet is high in fat, most of it unsaturated, much of it from olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado. But the famous diet of long-lived residents of Okinawa is low in fat because it is centered around diverse vegetables, grains and soybeans, with very limited meat, poultry and fish. If you adopt an eating pattern that has stood the test of generations, you are almost certain to be better off than with a diet introduced as breaking news.

We Actually Know What We Should Eat [WSJ]

March 8, 2020
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“There’s nothing quite like a convivial evening wrapped around a pint to give you health, happiness and a sense of well-being.”

Robin Dunbar:

Like all monkeys and apes, humans are intensely social. We have an urgent desire to schmooze and an awareness that alcohol helps our cause. Friendships protect us against outside threats and internal stresses, and this has been key to our evolutionary success. Primate social groups, unlike most other animals, rely on bondedness to maintain social coherence. And for humans, this is where a shared bottle of red wine plays a powerful role.

So, if you want to know the secret of a long and happy life, money is not the right answer. Get rid of the takeaway in front of the telly, and bin the hasty sandwich at your desk — the important thing is to take time out with people you know and talk to them over a beer or two, even that bottle of Prosecco if you really must. There’s nothing quite like a convivial evening wrapped around a pint to give you health, happiness and a sense of well-being.

Why drink is the secret to humanity’s success [FT]

December 31, 2019
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“Health-scare stories, even those that are not overblown, draw their special power from the fact that we go through the days denying our mortality.”

Jim Windolf:

Health-scare stories, even those that are not overblown, draw their special power from the fact that we go through the days denying our mortality. Each one reminds us anew that there’s no way out. Unable to avoid this tragic and absurd-seeming condition, we lash out against our fates by finding fresh reasons to make a villain out of the one thing that is doing its part to keep us alive: food. We add salt to the psychic wound when we momentarily trick ourselves into believing that bugs, worms and dirt are the only things fit for human consumption. I’m not falling for it anymore. I’m going back to bologna and cheese.

Boom.

Why Everything Is Bad for You [NYT]

September 27, 2015
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