Eat this - not that!
Every day studies identify foods that are good for us, or bad for us, or lead to cancer, or will give us clear skin and a long life. Often all of the above is true for a particular food. What can you believe?
- What is good food?
- Apples - the perfect fruit
- What does this mean?
- The real danger, according to all studies:
What is good food?
Hardly a day goes by when I don't hear about a new 'superfood' in the news, or a study has overturned the previous stand of knowledge about nutrition and declared some food as 'bad for you'. From Atkins to vegan, diet choices are overwhelmingly varied, and it becomes hard to know what is actually "good for you".
The fault here is not so much with the media or even with the science of nutrition, but in the fact that we are all so eager for an easy answer, when there simply is no ultimate truth. All food is good or bad for someone, at some time, in some circumstance. The old adage that in the dosage lies the poison is still true.
Apples - the perfect fruit
Let us pretend for a moment that apples are the perfect fruit for healthy normal people who do not have an allergy to apples. Please note that I am not stating that apples really are a perfect fruit or food. We are pretending. When the nutritional value of our perfect (mythical) apples is examined, nothing detrimental to humans is revealed - thus they are perfect. They are not however a perfect food in the sense that they supply the human body with all the nutrients it needs (minerals, calories, vitamins, proteins, etc.), but eating an apple has no deleterious effects, has some benefits, and is 'good for you'.
Just because apples are good for you in our example, would not mean that all apple products are of equal value where their nutritional properties are concerned. Obviously apple sauce, apple jelly, apple butter, apple juice or cider are not equal to fresh ripe apples. Partitioning or processing even a perfect food changes the nutrients and thus the value of said food. And we won't even speak of unripe apples...
If someone would eat nothing but apples (fresh and ripe), obviously the 'good for you' label would have to be revoked, as that person would not get all her nutritional needs met. But this would not mean that apples are not good for you, nor that they are bad for you. It would simply mean that apples can be a good part of a healthy balanced diet, but cannot sustain a person entirely, indefinitely. This is a case of dosage effect, or overdosing on apples.
Long ago people stumbled over apples only seasonally, and ate those apples the birds, bears and other beasts missed. Maybe they even figured out how to dry apples or store them. These days, well, you can buy fresh apples year round. If you ate a medium apple every day, could the duration of consumption change things? It might. Just as living off apples alone isn't good for you, there may be benefits to term limits. Maybe our 'good for you' apples have an oversupply of a micronutrient that builds up to 'not good for you' levels over time. So eating an apple daily, year round, could be a bad thing.
What does this mean?
The above was an example, and for demonstration purposes only. I make absolutely no statements about real apples, other than that I like them, fresh, dried, sauced, or fermented, and could care less about how good they are for me after a few glasses of the latter.
The upshot is that nearly every food can be good for some, bad for others, dangerous to deadly when misused, prepared wrong, or improperly chewed, and in the end it is probably safest to go back to the 'everything in moderation' proverb.
If you have suffered no ill effects from the consumption of a food product, don't worry about the findings of a new study that shows the product is bad for you. Stress is bad for you as well, and worrying about such things causes stress. Give it a few weeks, and see if the next study doesn't show the exact opposite, as so often happens.
The real danger, according to all studies:
Although most people want to live long productive lives, and are thus concerned about their health, these people all regularly inhale a gas that causes the oxidation and production of free radicals in their cells, and those will lead to cancer and death.
Yes, you too.
We must breathe to live. And long-term oxygen use causes aging, changes in DNA, oxidation status in cell chemistry, and death...
...But it is still better than not breathing.