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This book is highly derivative and if you are even moderately well informed about nutrition it will contain no new information. It is simply a repackage if other people’s science, all of which has already been extensively covered elsewhere.
This book provides an up-to-date overview of the current state of nutrition research, by examining various food myths, including: Supplements, Meat, Pesticides, Labeling, Exercise, Salt, Alcohol, Bottled water etc. It is generally easy to read, interesting, informative, occasionally amusing, and certainly holds the reader’s attention.
It attacks bad scientific studies (with inferences made from small sample sizes, no corresponding control group, and biased sponsors), and includes a much needed assault on the vested interests of the food industry, complicit/lazy governments, and even negligent science bodies.
Since food science is complex, and much still unknown (e.g. effect on the gut microbiome), the author often tempers his advice with “probables” (e.g. fish is probably not harmful for you).
If you follow nutritional research, much of the content may be familiar to you, additionally the author occasionally adds details from his Twin Studies research, as well as personal anecdotes. In some ways, the book sits alongside Michael Pollen’s Food Rules, and much of the content of the NutritionFacts website.
The last chapter provides a useful overview of the whole book, and includes a clarion call to pester governments and institutes to implement helpful food strategies rather than be led be the various vested interests of food manufacturers.
Overall, an excellent review of the current state of nutrition science, where we are, and why things need to change.
I was so looking forward to reading this but honestly I didn't learn much of practical use. There is some interesting information about the food industry, fish, water etc. but anybody with an interest in diet and nutrition will be aware of most of it already. I am non the wiser about an optimal diet for my health.
Having read The Diet Myth I was excited to read Spoonfed. It didn’t disappoint. It doesn’t tell you what to eat but gives clear advice so you can make your own informed choices about what you choose to eat whether it be fish or meat or just plant foods. I will certainly think twice before I buy fish in future and I’m going to stop taking Omega 3 fish oils. A must read for anyone interested in food and a healthy microbiome.
Tim Spector follows up his Diet Myth book with Spoon-Fed and takes a swipe at food manufacturers, suppliers of remedies and most of today's authorities on food. He maintains that we are all so different that it is impossible to recommend guidelines for everyone. This skeptical overview aims at opening our eyes to much of the misinformation about food. He offers no easy answers. However his final advice to the confused reader is to eat a varied diet based on plants and to avoid food with chemicals.
My husband absolutely loved this book - totally disrupts everything you’ve ever been told about food, calories, good fat/bad fat, how to diet and how to lose weight. Really worth a read if you’re serious about changing eating habits. He’s become a huge advocate for the booking quoting it almost every day - ok, every day! He should get commission for the number of times he’s told someone to get this book. If you’re interested in food, diet, whether the “facts” we’ve been told are true about non-fat, sugar, red meat, fish, etc. then is a book for you!
There's a biblical saying that there's more joy in heaven when a sinner repents than when faced with the already pious. On that score, Spector scores 5 Stars, being a top researcher who now rejects the 'food myths' he once believed. But, although it takes courage to make a stand against orthodoxy, Spector has bided his time before 'coming out'. Many of the food myths he says are news to him have been known about for decades. Nevertheless, this book is a valuable and lively expose of the nutritional establishment’s pseudoscience, which still dominates official health advice. Even more valuable is Spector's discussion of the importance of gut bacteria in everyday health, a field in which he is rightly acknowledged as a pioneer. So, again 5 stars. However, the book contains some jarring notes. He confines his myth-busting to nutrition, apparently supporting the establishment view that the pharmaceutical industry does not also peddle myths. Similarly, he spends a good 5% of his book on climate change – an irrelevance to his subject – and once again accepts the dogma that carbon dioxide and methane are the primary drivers of global warming. There a number of minor errors, such as that folate and folic acid are identical. They are indeed chemically the same but not biochemically, and thus affect people differently – a bizarre error in a book which rightly and importantly stresses the individual differences in people’s responses to what they ingest.
I began this book with enthusiasm and hopeful for some answers to or a section on sustaining good gut microbes... as that is the research that the author is currently undertaking...in amongst all the other references here to food science. I was a tad disappointed. It was balanced and revealing regarding the big food companies lack of proper research into how decisions about food and our health are put out there but further than that it was nothing I did not already suspect or understood from reading about food, diet and health.
Having succumbed to the 'informative guidance' of government, public health and so many more legitimate sources for so many years it was nice to read something which effectively drew a line under all of that and gave me a new common sense but well informed direction of travel for the future. It is criminal that so much of what we are guided by is effectively funded and subsequently manipulated by those bodies who look to gain financially without a jot of concern for the wellbeing of those who go on to purchase and subscribe to so many of these so called 'healthy' alternatives and lifestyles. A fantastic read.