watervole: (Mad Scientist)
I'm normally very good at spotting bogus claims for vitamins, magic pills, superfoods, etc. but there was one that even I used to fall for - fish oil.

There are loads of claims made that it will improve your child's intelligence, cure you of depression, etc.

However, the trials showing this generally turn out not to be proper trials (or not to have published their results when nothing happened).  It's important to have a control group (who are randomly assigned and do not know which group they are in).

The findings of a a well-conducted, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, in 450 children aged 8–10 years old from a mainstream school population showed no improvement from fish oil.

Here's to Ben Goldacre, who makes the effort to look up the original papers every time newspapers make claims about these things (and misquote the papers they're basing the articles on)
watervole: (brocolli)
I've had a suspicion for a long time that sugar and highly-refined foods are probably the biggest factor behind obesity (more so than fat).  This research seems to confirm that.

I stay at a comfortable weight by the simple tactic of choosing wholefood options (brown bread/rice/pasta instead of white), beans, plenty of veg, etc.  I eat far less meat than most people, but still include it in several meals a week.

I try and avoid anything that contains sugar.  That means eating on of the very small number of breakfast cereals that don't contain sugar (watch out for crystallised fruit that several brands now slip in in order to try and make you think there's no sugar when there is).  Dorset Cereals muesli, and Grape Nuts are the usual ones at present.  (they started adding sugar to my previous brand).

I don't buy or make cakes (but the occasional slice when out for an afternoon is okay - this is a lifestyle, not a prison).  I eat small amounts of chocolate (a couple of squares of Green and Black each day), and that's pretty much it on the sugar front.

I've stopped eating things like baked beans and other similar tinned foods.  The sugar content has risen so much that I now find them unpalatable.

Cheese is wonderful, and we eat all kinds of varieties.

If I had to offer just one tip for a healthy diet, I'd say to eat nothing with sugar in it.  (and no artificial sweeteners either)

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Judith Proctor

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