Eating fish – it's full of omega-3'-s … – Do not wait – contains PCBs and mercury. Drink milk – you need football … – Do not drink milk, which causes prostate cancer. Eat soy … – In fact do not. Drink coffee … – Stop drinking coffee … –
Nutrition is a subject deeply confused. Joe Schwarcz, PhD hopes to change that.
An apple a day: the myths, misconceptions and truths about the foods they eat, it's a complete look refreshing and impartial to what we know, what we think we know, what we do not know and how can we apply what we know to our nutritional choices. Instead of giving the diet plans, Schwarcz teaches us how to think about nutrition and it does so in a caring, fun and engaging way.
The book is divided into 4 parts:
Here are some nuggets from the first part of the book-
'It is a folly to think that we can introduce something as complicated as a food in something as complex as the human body and easy to make predictions about the outcome "-. Joe Schwarcz
- "Toxic Chemical" is a word with no meaning unless placed in its proper context. Apples contain acetone, isopropanol and cyanide. It 's the dose that matters.
- Polyphenol content in the diet is inversely associated with death from heart disease. The main sources in the diet are apples, onions and tea. The real key to the intake of antioxidants is the variety
- An Italian study has shown that the consumption of pizza highest was associated with a lower risk of heart attacks. The tomato sauce seemed to be the connection. After his studies of tomato and lycopene, it seems that it has become tomatoes that are responsible for the health effects – not the lycopene.
- Cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections, however, is not due to the acidity or antibacterial effect. It is the prevention of bacteria adhering to the lining of the urinary tract – which is thought to be due to the trimeric procyanidins. Duh!
- Blueberries have powerful antioxidant effects – perhaps because of the anthocyanins present in the small wonders and pterostilbenes blue. A study has shown that young rats could balance on a narrow beam for 13 seconds. When the mice reached old age, fell to 5 seconds. The old rats fed blueberry extract, as far as we were able to stay an average of 11 seconds.
- The compounds found in orange peels (flavones polymethoxylated – a PMF) have been shown to exhibit a potent cholesterol-lowering effect (the study had only 10 subjects, however). Commercial concoctions have been formulated and tested. These PMF also exhibit qualities similar to tamoxifen – an anti-cancer drug. More research needed.
- Acai Berries – turned into expensive commercial fruit juices, claim to have more antioxidants than any other fruit. What is important, however, is the total antioxidant intake and this seems to be best served by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant capacity was tested in the laboratory – which may or may not carry over to human benefit.
- There is a strong inverse relationship between fish consumption and depression – with some countries that have 60 times the amount of depression as others. Ditto with cognitive impairment, ADD, dyslexia and hyperactivity
- Studies on fish consumption and heart health have been very promising, yet surprisingly mixed. 2-3 servings of fatty cold water fish (salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel), it is a good idea. Enough to induce benefits and not enough to worry about mercury and PCB
- Flaxseeds contain lignans, which have been shown to lower risk of breast cancer. Lino also binds bile acids in the intestine – forcing them to do more. Diabetics have experienced a 30% drop in blood glucose with 50 g of flaxseed.
- Olive oil contains oleocanthol, an anti-inflammatory substance with pharmacological activity similar to that of ibuprofen. Phenols are found in extra virgin olive oil reduces DNA damage in cells of the colon and rectum.
- In addition to fiber, whole grains contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also provide lignans (anti-cancer) and rutin – which can reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Beta-glucan found in oats prevents cholesterol from oxidation, lowers blood pressure and helps control blood sugar levels in the blood
- In the Nurses Health Study, women who consumed beans and lentils twice a week were about 25% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who ate them less than once a month. This may be due to pentakisphosphate inositol beans, lentils, peas, wheat bran and nuts that has an effect similar to cisplatin drug – a drug commonly used to treat ovarian cancer
- Look for the gas without beans in grocery stores soon. The addition of Lactobacillus species before cooking gas can reduce producers of carbohydrates by 90% without altering the nutritional value.
- Rates of breast cancer in the former East Germany were much lower than in West Germany. Any difference? Cabbage consumption was much higher in East Germany.
- Higher intakes of foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as spinach, collard corn and vegetables are associated with a substantially reduced risk of macular degeneration
- Turmeric, the yellow spice used to add flavor to dishes has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. More specifically, curcumin – a component of turmeric inhibits the action of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which catalyzes the inflammation
- Curcumin may also be effective in the prevention of colon cancer
- The Health Professionals Follow-up Study (45,000 men) have found that the total intake of coffee was not associated with heart disease or stroke even when consumption exceeds 4 cups a day. The coffee consumption appears to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease and type II diabetes
- Resveratrol present in red wine has been shown to mimic the positive effects associated with reducing the calories of 30%. French paradox? Mais non! Eat less than Americans. Comparisons of American restaurants have shown that portions restaurants are 25-72% larger than that of similar French restaurants. Chocolate bars Americans are 41% larger and hot dogs are 63% larger. French The average person takes longer to eat. The average American spends an hour a day to eat, while the French media spends 100 minutes.
- Celiac disease (gluten allergy) is strongly associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is much more common than you might think.
- Cinnamon has been shown to reduce the levels of sugar in the blood by as much as 30% – with just a spoonful fourth day. In this study, it is also lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
- Homocysteine seems to signal the approach of heart disease, but not the cause. The levels can be lowered with folic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 – but this has no effect if heart disease evaluated in clinical trials. Lowering homocysteine seems to be a lower risk of colon cancer and Alzheimer's disease, but does not seem to have an effect on cognitive performance in the elderly. Raw spinach is a great source of folate
- Although high doses of vitamin E does not appear to reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer, but it seems to prevent Parkinson's disease and cold sores.
- Vitamin D provides significant protection from breast cancer. Doses should be about 1000 IU for protection – integration is usually necessary to achieve this goal. The subjects from a multitude of studies that have vitamin D were less likely to die of any cause than those who did not (7%).
Other topics discussed in the book
- Milk and whether or not it makes a good body
- Why the fear of MSG and artificial sweeteners and is largely irrational
- The science and technology behind artificial colors and flavors, and if we do not need to worry about them
- An in depth look at the techniques of food preservation and those that we need to be concerned about
- A look at food fortification and its impact on our health
- A look at possible food contaminants and substances in our foods (dioxins, PCBs, antibiotics, hormones)
- The truth behind claims of super fruit juices, supplements, kosher diets and detox
For me it is nice to know that there are books available that teach people how to think about nutrition and feeding among the many who prescribe diets and preach one-way messages. An apple a day is a very scintillating reading for those interested in digging a little 'deeper into the complex interaction between food and health. And 'rich with science, integrity and impartiality, and can be reduced complex subjects in easy to understand the take-home messages.
If you are interested in the bottom line, user-friendly guidelines and black-and-white tips, you can find the book a bit 'too drawn out. On the other hand, if you're looking to expand your undertanding of basic nutrition and navigate through contoversies food, I think this book is good value.