11th March 2017
Healthy diets

What is the best diet for health?

We have a long history of debating what is the best diet for health.  Certainly, there is not a dearth of information.  In fact we are assaulted from all angles with research articles, editorials, opinion pieces, diet books, press features, blogs and “just one weird tip” clickbait links.  It feels to many that all scientists do is argue about what is the best diet and the public cannot be blamed for zoning out and carrying on regardless of all the conflicting health advice out there.  However, given the growing disparity between lifespan and healthspan, is it possible to say what diet is the best for health?  I summarise an excellent review article of the most popular diets that actually have […]
2nd March 2017

Opinion – The Nanny State vs the Feckless Idiot

As a nutritionist, I am often asked “What causes obesity?”  The answer is initially simple yet becomes fiendishly complex.  Most scientists will tell you that we gain weight because we eat more calories than we need.  However, WHY we overeat or in some way fail to eat a healthy balanced diet is far more complicated.  When I explain this, I am often met with derision from seemingly intelligent individuals who consider that anyone eating a less than perfect diet is unintelligent, feckless, wilfully negligent and that they are therefore beyond help.  Why should the state intervene to make everyone’s life miserable for the sake those individuals who can’t control themselves?  Here’s why what and how much we eat is not […]
23rd February 2017
Chopping vegetables

5 a day or 10 a day? Just eat more!

Today’s headlines induced guilt for the 73% of UK adults that fail to consume 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day (NDNS data, 2016).  A new study suggests that while getting your 5 a day is good, eating 10 portions a day offers the most protection against chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Given that most of us struggle to achieve just 5 portions, is the reporting of these health messages doing more harm than good?   We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us.  Many studies have shown that those who eat diets rich in fruit and veg have a lower risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  The World Health […]
20th February 2017
Vitamin D

Ain’t no sunshine. Better take vitamin D?

Vitamin D hit the headlines last week following the publication of a new review that revealed the supplements of the so-called sunshine vitamin can help to reduce the risk of colds and flu.  While the benefits of vitamin D for bone and muscle health are indisputable, could supplements potentially ward off the winter sniffles as well?   What is vitamin D? Rather than a true vitamin, vitamin D is actually a pro-hormone.  When it is converted to its active form in the liver and kidney, it acts as a hormone to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body.  Both these minerals are important in keeping bones healthy and calcium also plays a role in muscle contraction, so […]