The Good Food Trial: who is winning?

The literature on what foods are good and bad has grown from a healthy weight to toxic levels of morbidity. It is time to take the protagonists to court and put them on trial using the available evidence.

New strategies such as disruption are important.

Let’s enter my dietary courtroom. There are a range of foods on the list. Some are clearly beneficial by unanimous decision in the available evidence. Others are clearly harmful – also by unanimous decision.  At the next level of uncertainty, the evidence is not irrefutable and requires a judgement call: majority decision, hung jury or judges call. A majority decision covers evidence that is strong but not conclusive. After that it is anyone’s call. 

Verdict Beneficial Harmful Little effect
Unanimous decision  

Fruits, non starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, yogurt, dietary fiber, potassium, moderate alcohol use, Mediterranean style diet

 

High sodium, sugar-sweetened beverages, foods rich in refined grains, starches, added sugars

 

 

Total fat

Majority decision  

Seafood, whole grains, certain vegetable oils (eg, soybean, canola, extra virgin olive), n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fats, plant-derived monounsaturated fats

 

 

Moderate salt, white potatoes, high glycemic index

 

 

Total carbohydrate, antioxidants, vitamins, calcium

 

Hung jury  

Cheese, low fat milk, certain vegetable oils (eg corn, sunflower, safflower, coffee, tea, cocoa, Vitamin D, magnesium

 

Saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, unprocessed red meats, eggs, butter

 

Poultry,100% fruit juice, total protein, specific amino acids, noncaloric sweeteners

Judges call  

Whole-fat milk, starchy vegetables other than potatoes, coconut oil

 

Whole-fat milk

 

Genetic modification, “natural” products

 

There are very few foods in this table and almost as many harmful as beneficial at all levels and the contents change frequently. Most restrictions to what we eat are capable of producing short term changes but these changes are temporary.  This is a verdict that will never be conclusive. That is why new strategies such as disruption are so important. Commitment to changing patterns is essential in the Western world where food is plentiful and there is great variety.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About thethinker.co