Every week you read a new diet tip that contradicts the last one. What else can you stick to?
What am I supposed to eat anyway? Anyone who reads diet tips and takes them seriously must despair. In essence, red meat shortens life. Fructose is poison, and saturated fats clog the arteries, black chocolate makes you slim, insidious gluten found in bread and pasta.
Why are there so many diets?
The reason for this confusion is, first of all, that digestion is extremely complex. A simplified sketch of the glucose metabolism, for example, shows 33 chemical reactions with a good dozen end and intermediate products or metabolites.
- It also makes a difference whether we digest the first or the thirtieth gram of fructose and what other nutrients are just waiting.
- Also, diet is not about what will happen in the next few minutes, but what will happen in the next few years. For example, if we eat 150 grams of sugar every day in the form of cola, ice cream, and muffins.
- In the clinic, you can keep people under lock and key for a maximum of three weeks. No diabetes develops during this time. You can only measure specific indicators in the blood and theoretically calculate risk from it.
How are studies carried out?
But most of the warnings – for example, about red meat – come from so-called epidemiological studies. It is how it works: 55,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71 asked 124 questions about nutrition, age, gender, and risk factors such as smoking. Then you follow for ten years what these people die off – or how long they live.
- At this number cemetery, researchers from all over the world then check their thesis, for example, that cardiovascular mortality increases with increasing meat consumption.
- Correctly corrected numbers could have “proven” the opposite. Still, here, too, the calculated effect would have remained well within the error range.
- In essence, questionnaires filled out incorrectly, eating habits change, etc. You can forget about warnings about individual foods, especially if you feel healthy overall.
- But if you have complaints, there is a high probability that they are related to nutritional errors. And then there are some well-founded findings.
- Too much fructose and glucose in sweet drinks, bars, muesli, etc. overwhelm the liver and pancreas. Result: high blood sugar, insulin resistance, obesity, etc. Bread, pasta, and rice can also be harmful.
- Too many polyunsaturated omega-6 and -9 fats (e.g., sunflower oil) and too little omega-3 fats in sea fish, organic eggs, etc. promote inflammation. In these cases, the proportion of animal fats such as butter or olive and coconut oil should increase, and proteins should not neglect. Mainly applies to older semesters.
- Chew well. Allow time to digest. It has proven healthy: intermittent fasting. At least 14 hours between night and morning meal. To persevere coconut fat and butter in the morning coffee or tea.