The Diet Myth – Tim Spector

Diet is an often misused word. No matter what we eat we are on ‘a diet’. Whether the diet each of us follows is good for us or not is the subject of much debate and misleading information.

And whether or not you are successful in changing your diet to improve your health and well-being will depend on how you understand and relate to the information provided.

There are so many Diet Books on the shelves that it is difficult to choose which to read and which to ignore. So, I am looking around and will provide a brief recommendation of some of those which I feel provide the best and most useful information.

This book by Tim Spector provides a fascinating insight into current research about the impact of food on our bodies.

Addressing my gut health and making different food choices was fundamental to transforming my health so that I now live a healthy, energised and fulfilled life.  A healthy and balanced gut microbiome fed by the right foods is fundamental to good health both physical and mental. This book will change your whole view on food choices and demonstrate why looking after your gut health can move you away from ill health and disease and take you on a path to elite health.

The press release for the book lists 28 fascinating and surprising truths from the book:

  • The living cells in our bodies are 10 per cent human and 90 per cent microbe
  • Eating lots of fatty cheese or yoghurt can improve health and weight
  • A handful of garden soil holds more microbes than there are stars in the known universe
  • Sweeteners in ‘diet’ fizzy drinks have adverse effects on our metabolism and microbesand can make us gain weight
  • Cubans, despite eating on average twice the amount of sugar as Americans, are far healthier
  • We evolved from microbes millions of years ago, share their genes and still perform many tasks for themand they perform many more for us.
  • Foods advertised as ‘low-fat’ are actually making us fatter
  • Fasting diets such as the 5:2 diet work by beneficially altering our microbes and their metabolism
  • Skipping breakfast may be a healthy strategy for many people
  • The average twenty-year-old today will have already had eighteen courses of antibiotics and will have abnormal microbesincreasing risk of obesity
  • The diversity of microbes in our bodies is 30 per cent lower than fifty years ago
  • Gut microbes, when disrupted, are a major cause of obesity and diabetes but they are also essential for health
  • Thousands of people are now having poo transplants –many with significant success
  • Microbes in your gut can affect your brain and mental health,and contribute to autism and depression and even the urge to eat more
  • Much of our food is contaminated with low levels of antibiotics used in farming,making us fat
  • A third of people have genes and microbes that prevent them getting fat
  • Microbes enjoy eating the polyphenols in dark chocolate which may keep us slim
  • Key nutrients and essential vitamins are extracted from our food only through our gut bacteria
  • Babies needmicrobes fordevelopment of their brains and immune systems
  • The success of the Mediterranean diet is due largely to providing fertiliser for our microbes
  • Unpasteurised cheese is one of the richest sources of living healthy microbes and fungi
  • Most probiotics in yoghurt don’t work well in humansand may need to be personalised
  • Olive oil and nuts are ultimate health foods that nourish our microbes
  • Living on a dirty farm or having pets helps microbes and protects you against allergies
  • Whether you like to eat salads, broccoli chips or garlic is partly genetic
  • Belgian Beer, garlic, coffee, leeksand celery are perfect foods to increase gut microbes
  • A diet of junk food can dramatically reduce healthygut microbes in only two days
  • Increasing the diversity of our diet will increase our microbes, our health, happiness and lifespan
The Diet Myth - Tim Spector