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Posts Tagged 'Nutrition'

Salt Lovers of the World Unite!

I’m Irish. The Irish are great salt-eaters. We also like fat. Our favourite dish, the ‘Ulster Fry’, often served for breakfast, dinner and tea – breakfast, lunch and dinner for your toffee-nosed English – consists of bacon (fried or grilled), eggs (fried) and potato or soda bread (fried). A mouth-watering combination of fat, salt and carbohydrate. And, to be sure to be sure, the whole doused with more salt.

According to nutritionists, this is a highly unhealthy and potentially fatal diet. There are two reasons for ignoring these warnings. First, there can be few occupations so discredited as that of the nutritionist.  Can you think of any other group of ‘experts’ whose advice today will be precisely the opposite of their advice yesterday and their advice tomorrow? And second, had the Irish diet been so unhealthy, the race would have died out decades and even centuries ago, when in fact we have populated the globe with our offspring of saints, scholars and American presidents.

If there is a problem with salt, it is not that it hardens the arteries, my own arteries being as pliant as the bottom of a new-born babe, but that owners of cafes and restaurants are involved with nutritionists in a puritan conspiracy to prevent diners like myself from adding piquancy to their otherwise bland and tasteless meals.  

This is achieved in one of three ways: by proffering small dishes of rock-salt  which is both unhygienic and impossible to sprinkle; by  providing ceramic salt shakers with holes so small the tiniest known particle of matter could not pass through;  or by having shakers with screw-on metal tops, whose microscopic apertures are so caked with damp salt  and rice particles that nothing at all comes out.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Enjoy Yourself – It’s Later Than You Think!

Methuselah

Methuselah

Gotcha! So you thought a few chocs, a glass or two of cab sav and a soothing flat white were good for your heart. After all, you read it somewhere in the paper. One of those “recent research” stories or some nutrition expert had said so. You can’t quite remember who. There’ve been lots of these stories anyway. Something to do with antitoxins or antioxidants. Some sort of “anti”. And you were so tired of all this can’t/don’t/mustn’t/bad-for-you stuff, that it was great to have some news that not everything you ate or drank was going to give you cancer or a heart attack or diabetes or something high, like blood pressure or cholesterol.  What the hell is cholesterol anyway?

Well, as Bart Simpson’s nemesis Nelson Muntz would say, “HA, HA!” The latest research, the most authoritative nutrition experts now take great pleasure in telling you that you were kidding yourself. Well actually it was the previous research and the previous most authoritative nutrition experts who were kidding you. But let’s not quibble.

The word from the New Zealand Heart Foundation today is that eating chocolate or drinking red wine or coffee has no cardiovascular health benefits. The Foundation’s  National Director of Healthy Weight, Susan Anderson  – healthy weight has a National Director?  – is quoted in this morning’s Herald as saying that the message  to chocolate, wine and coffee connoisseurs from a review of more than a hundred scientific papers is that any cardiovascular benefit from their treats is more a case of wishful thinking.   Read the rest of this entry »

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