I love The Daily Mash but never expected its satirical articles to inspire my blog. Still today's roundup included a very amusing article about the perception a foreigner might form of the british people from reading the daily mail including this comment on the frequently published health scare stories:
"Then I notice how you are all in constant panic about whether or not to eat tomatoes. Some days they are best thing ever, other days they kill you. I am thinking 'this is not product of healthy brain'."
This is a bit extreme but what makes it so funny is how close it is to the truth. The media have encouraged a fear of food and wide-spread confusion over what is or isn't good for you.
It's true that there have been a number of deaths caused by individuals following extreme diets in the quest for health. However common sense should tell you that a diet of only carrot juice or drinking 5 litres of water a day is not a good idea.
Most people know which foods are healthy (fruit + veg, oily fish, nuts, seeds, white meat, wholegrains) and which are unhealthy (saturated fats, red meats, sugar, white carbohydrates, alcohol, caffeine, processed and junk foods), but may need to apply some common sense to their diets:
- Don't eat the same meals everyday
- Don't eat any particular food in very high quantities
- Don't exclude any of the main food groups from your diet (fats, carbohydrates, protein)
- If a new 'superfood' is discovered it may be worth adding to your diet, but not in huge quantities every day
And yes tomatoes are good for you, but that doesn't mean you should eat two kilos a day!