Almost finished Tim Spector’s book Spoonfed, which is a detailed overview of human nutrition from a GP and nutritional scientist’s perspective. If only every GP needed to study nutrition as Tim Spector has.
Spector’s book demystifies every area of the modern diet from gluten, animal and plant protein, gluten, fibre, caffeine, alcohol, water and shows how we vary and what we have in common, which seems to be requirement for various micronutrients, best absorbed from real food that our bodies can’t make.
Gut bacteria is a new area of study and the thread runs all through the book, putting this into clear context.
Spoonfed is an amazing jumping off point for all of us to discover our own personal and specific tweaks, for instance a repeated response to a food type or sensitivity from lack of diversity in diet to certain staple items.
Keeping a journalist’s eye on facts and sorting these out from opinions – however informed, experience and educated – can lead all of us to our own best diets.
This means, over the course of the day, getting a variety of real foods, particularly those in season, with plenty of polyphenols (anti-oxidants), omega 3 and the 9 amino acids our bodies can’t make.
Overall, our bodies are incredible, they need certain ingredients to work their best and if we learn to listen to them, can get much more clues than from conventional medicine, which doesn’t always seek to find answers about natural health, understand different outcomes or fund such essential areas to health as medicine.
Due to anti-biotics, pesticides, fertilizers and lab generated chemical processes, it is difficult to lose track of what is going in our bodies and how they will react. a nutritious diet is the best defence from illness and best protection from infection, but we need to find those final tweaks.
Spector’s book shows how the term ‘single ingredient real foods’ includes dried, tinned, canned, frozen or in a jar. For example, frozen fruit and veg can be equally and sometimes more nutritious then fresh.
Frozen fish will be safer than many fresh fish as it will be frozen nearer the source and much cheaper then from the fishmonger. All round, this is fantastic news for the food budget, especially when fortified and enriched foods (ultra-processed foods + supplements) make natural levels of nutrient absorption difficult to balance.
Cereals, dairy, bread and other empty calorie foods enriched and fortified with dietary supplements are more expensive then fresh food and are targeted at low income households, particularly young families to get children addicted to sugar.
There is a wonderful trail of clues out there for each of us and the voyage of discovery to your own nutritional Holy Grail is amazing to be on. This voyage of discovery can lead to tasty, satisfying and nutritious food on a budget, which means no calorie counting, worrying, measuring or restricting yourself. No allowances, being told what to eat or suppressing your own wisdom and innate instincts.
My own journey has led me to start each day with a filling and varied breakfast including steamed greens. Then for lunch and dinner I don’t need much, get all 3 meals into a 8-10 hour window each day and by dinner I am almost not hungry, having got all my vitamins, minerals, aminos, omegas, anti-oxidants etc earlier in the day.
Ever wondered why so many cultures have small courses or a variety of flavours with natural spices, herbs, garlic, oils, fats and combinations such as beans on toast, veg chilli and rice, hummus and pitta bread etc? Variety rather than one big dish seems to be satisfying quicker as it delivers more nutrition with less food and provides the body with what it needs to say it’s had enough.
I’ve been researching to separate the facts from the subjective beliefs for years, including DNA testing, elimination, various ideas such as keto, paleo, Mediterranean, etc and provide these all in a quick-reference app with shopping list, food palette and calendar record for anyone to use to get their daily nutrition.
My work in progress is online until 30 Sept (deployed for COVID-19 recovery reference – free, no sign in, no data kept). If like to use this, test the wireframes for the interactive app, please give me a shout.