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The Best Diet

Posted 3/27/2014

Posted in

  There is so much written about the importance of diet in sustaining our health. No one would argue that it helps to eat right and well, but there is endless arguement about what constitutes "right" and "well". Certainly, within Cancer World, there are a million articles or books purporting the anti-cancer powers of certain foods. If you look at the larger literature, there is even more written about health in general.

  The catch is that no one can really prove or support the contention that one particular diet is best. For those of us, myself included, who love to eat, this is actually good news. For me, it means that I can continue to eat lots of healthy things, not worry about the specifics, and assume that I am doing the best that I can. Life is way too short, with or without cancer, to subsist on carrot sticks or no carbs or lots of seaweed (unless you love it).

  This is an excellent article from The Atlantic. Per usual, I give you the beginning and then a link to read more:

Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food
By James Hamblin

Flailing in the swell of bestselling diet books, infomercials for cleanses, and secret tips in glossy
magazines, is the credibility of nutrition science. Watching thoroughly-credentialed medical experts
tout the addition or subtraction of one nutrient as deliverance—only to change the channel and hear
someone equally-thoroughly-credentialed touting the opposite—it can be tempting to write off
nutrition advice altogether. This month we hear something is good, and next we almost expect to hear
it’s bad. Why not assume the latest research will all eventually be nullified, and just close our eyes and
eat whatever tastes best?
That notion is at once relatable and tragic, in that diet is inextricable from the amount of healthy time
we spend on Earth. Improvements in diet are clearly associated with significant lengthening of lifespan
and dramatic decreases in risk of most chronic diseases. Combining disease and longevity into the
concept of healthspan, the number of healthy years of life—fundamentally more important but less
readily quantifiable than lifespan—the data in favor of optimizing our diets are even more compelling.
No one is arguing that diet is less than extremely important to health and well-being, but seemingly
everyone is arguing as to what constitutes the best diet.


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