Monday, 24 January 2011
A fruitless task
However, according to a growing band of nutrition experts, the whole five-a-day fallacy may be a load of old rubbish. Apparently the original campaign was dreamed up in America (but you knew that) by a group of fruit and vegetable growers working with a cancer charity. Recent research points towards the advice being utter nonsense and that excessive consumptions of fresh fruit and vegetables doesn’t significantly reduce the chances of developing cancer and heart disease.
According to obesity expert, Zoe Harcombe, the health lobby would have been far better off urging us to eat foods that are more beneficial. She says: “I don’t agree with the prevailing view that we should all eat more fibre in order to help us feel full and keep our digestive systems moving.
“The fact is, we can’t digest fibre. How can something we can’t even digest be so important to us, nutritionally? We are told that we need to ‘flush out’ our digestive systems. But essential minerals are absorbed while food is in the intestines, so why do we want to flush everything out? It is far better to concentrate on not putting bad foods into your body.
“The biggest tragedy of all is the lost opportunity from this misguided five-a-day campaign. If only we had hand-picked the five foodstuffs that are actually most nutritious and spent what the Department of Health has spent on promoting fruit and vegetables over the past 20 years on recommending them, we could have made an enormous difference to the health and weight of our nation.
“If you ask me, these foodstuffs are liver (good for all vitamins and packed with minerals), sardines (for vitamin D and calcium), eggs (all-round super-food with vitamins A, B, D, E and K, iron, zinc, calcium and more), sunflower seeds (magnesium, vitamin E and zinc) and dark-green vegetables such as broccoli or spinach (for vitamins C, K and iron).
“Add milk (good for calcium, vitamins A and D), porridge oats (magnesium, zinc and B vitamins) and cocoa powder (magnesium and iron) and, hey presto, you’re provided with the full quota of every vitamin and mineral our bodies need.”
That sounds like sensible advice to me, and a hell of a lot easier than munching your way through a pile of tasteless vegetation that’s mostly water and fibre.
More liver, anyone?