Friday, 20 Apr 2018
Health

Food under the magnifying glass

© stokkete – stock.adobe.com
Health topics are driving people around, and that’s not least reflected in the nutrition guides on the bestseller lists. Bas Kast presents in its new bestseller “The nutrition compass” (C. Bertelsmann, 320 pp., 20 euros) to sum up: From thousands of studies on nutrition, the science journalist filtered out the findings in which most experts agreed. Its result: The general understanding of healthy eating should be redefined, because fat does not automatically make you obese, and there is not the right diet, because every body is different. Kast’s plea: “Eat real food”, ie unprocessed fruit and vegetables, meat and fish or slightly processed foods such as yoghurt and cheese, legumes and whole grains. By contrast, sugar should be said goodbye.
This is followed by Lorenz Borsche. The founder of the bookseller cooperative eBuch already makes clear in the title of his book, what he thinks of the sweetener. In “Sugar, Deadly Temptation” (Braumüller, 120 p., 12 euros), he warns not only about white sugar, but above all easily digestible carbohydrates (including potatoes and wheat). Right at the beginning of his critical examination of the strength, he recalls that the diet of humans was nearly free of carbohydrates before agriculture around 10,000 years ago. Since the body still functions similar today as it did then too much sugar is harmful. Thus, only vanishingly small amounts would be burned in brain and muscles and the large remainder stored in fat cells. In addition to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes II and cancer are the consequences. Borsche equates the sugar with a drug that makes you addicted faster and costs more lives than any other intoxicant.

Already John Yudkin saw it similar. In his first published in 1972 work “Pure, white, deadly, why the sugar kills us – and how we can prevent it” (Systemed, 224 p., 14.99 euros) criticized the British nutrition expert the high sugar consumption of the Western world. As one of the first scientists he diagnosed that sugar was one of the main causes of overweight, heart and brain diseases. He does not treat other carbohydrate-rich foods in the book, but as an introductory reading on the effects of sugar consumption on the body, the book is still hot news: The reissue of the classic with a foreword by the pediatrician Robert Lustig came at the end of February on the market.
But not only the sugar industry but also the agricultural industry supplies risk factors, as is evident when looking at the spring innovations. In “The pesticide lie, how industry puts our children’s health at risk” (oekom, 240 p., 20 euros) tells agriculture expert André Leu that fruit and vegetables are rich in nutrients, but also full of pesticides. He emphasizes that the legal guidelines as of when pesticides are harmful are based on a healthy adult. Children, on the other hand, could already harm a small amount – cancer, thyroid or immune diseases are just three of many detectable consequences. Leu exposes in his book the five biggest myths about the use of pesticides – such as that modern pesticides are rapidly biodegraded. The nutrition of the world’s population could long ago be secured with the manifold possibilities of the organic agriculture, so the expert.
Ecologist Johann Zaller also deals with pesticides: Why are carcinogenic chemicals allowed, the limits of the legal pesticide contamination steadily corrected upwards? And does an apple really have to be treated 31 times with pesticides? In “Our daily poison. Pesticides – the underestimated danger” (Zsolnay, 240 p., 20 euros) Zaller delivers terrifying facts. Last but not least, he shows how a pesticide-free diet of the world’s population can be realized.
Not only pesticides in food can harm humans, also an excess of lectins is delicate, says the heart surgeon Steven Gundry. “Bad vegetables, how healthy foods make us ill” (Beltz, 384 p., 19.95 euros) is the title of his book in which he pleads for a lectin-free diet. Because the toxic substances produced by plants to protect against insects (including gluten) would promote cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s and asthma and promote weight gain. Particularly lectin-containing foods are often those considered healthy, such as tomatoes, whole grains or quinoa. However, complete renunciation does not have to be – the quantity and the correct preparation are important. In addition to his findings from many years of treatment practice, Gundry also presents a nutritional program with many recipes and preparation tips.
Anyone who wonders what they can consume with a clear conscience, according to nutrition expert Jo Robinson, how plants were robbed by over-breeding their nutritional value, what ingredients they contain today, how they affect the body and are released by proper preparation can. In her guide “Food as medicine, how food can heal” (riva, 368 p. 9,99 Euro) she treats a different kind of fruit or vegetable in each chapter. “Wild food” is her motto. So she explains how in the supermarket those varieties can be recognized, in which still many nutritional values ​​of their plant ancestors stuck. For example, a Granny Smith apple contains 13 times more phytonutrients than a Ginger Gold, and bright yellow lemons provide the most vitamin C.
Psychiatrist Anthony William has been in “Medical Food: Why Fruits and Veggies Are More Potent Than Any Drug” (Arkana, 400 p., 24 euros) also accepted the plant world. In it he describes in detail which beneficial effects emanate from various types of fruits, vegetables or herbs – and which foods are more harmful. William also breaks down his chapters into plant species and adds background knowledge on topics such as stress or food cravings. He explains that bananas are good for insomnia or that lemon balm can be used as a natural sedative. By contrast, genetically modified maize and eggs should be avoided after Williams advice. Conclusion: If you do without sugar, buy organic products, take some time in the supermarket while studying the goods, eat in moderation and balanced, lives largely harmless.

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