Beyond the 120 Year Diet
Currently reading Beyond the 120 Year Diet by Roy Walford. It is too bad it is named and presented as a diet book because it really is not, nor does it deserve to be lumped in with all the other diet and fad-diet books. This book is based on hard science, and presents a large body of research that shows that caloric restriction with optimal nutrition works (in mice, chimpanzees, and human experiments). Along the way, it stresses critical thinking, rallies against the blight of fad-diets based on pseudo-science, and encourages readers to form their own rational options based on the experimental results. It also stresses how little we really know about nutrition, digestion, and aging, and that education and research should be ongoing.
Perhaps the biggest thing it really got me to see differently is how eating crappy food, and excessive calories is FAR WORSE than smoking as far as its impact on your health, lifespan, risk of diseases, and cancer. For instance, eating processed foods brings a far higher risk of cancer than smoking does. Now I’m either going to have to stop giving smokers a hard time, or give just about everyone a hard time, just to be fair.
Of course, trying to get people to accept that or care enough to eat better is a lost cause. Which brings interesting political dillemas. In my country, where we have publicly funded, universal healthcare, how can we allow (and afford!) people to continue destroying themselves as they do? Costs are skyrocketing. We already tax the crap out of ciggarettes, which helps play the bills for those same smokers down the road. What about food? Should crappy nutrient-free processed and refined foods be taxed? Or should healthy quality food be subsidized? Should we just carry on as usual, until so many people are sick, we can no longer afford to help them all?