Is saturated fat unhealthy?

In a sense, I can’t believe I’m writing this article. From a scientific perspective, this issue has been firmly settled. The answer is very clearly “NO!”. And yet, if I google “is saturated fat unhealthy?”, then seven of the top nine results proclaim with great certainty that “yes, it is”.

Here’s what the NHS says to people living in the UK: “Too much saturated fat … Read more

Can a “high protein high calcium” diet prevent fractures?

A very interesting study was recently published in the British Medical Journal that looked at the ability of a “high protein high calcium” diet to prevent fractures. Well, I say high protein high calcium – what they were actually testing was what happens if you give frail elderly people (the people at greatest risk of fractures) a diet high in dairy – which doesn’t sound … Read more

How to lose weight rapidly

Over the last year I’ve written several articles about how to lose weight, what the studies show works and what they show doesn’t work. I figured it was time to put all that content together in to a single article that makes clear actionable recommendations. First, let’s just get one thing straight – the most commonly offered advice, to eat less and exercise more, doesn’t … Read more

Is potassium effective against high blood pressure?

I’ve written previously about how salt (sodium) only marginally raises blood pressure, and how the evidence that there is any benefit to reducing salt intake in the diet is weak at best. Now it’s time to look at that other salt, potassium. While sodium raises blood pressure, potassium supposedly lowers blood pressure, and many people have been given the recommendation to replace their table … Read more

The optimal diet for longevity and weight loss?

It started with an experiment on locusts in 1991. David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson, two zoologists who were at the time doing research at Oxford University, wanted to know what would happen to locusts if they varied the relative proportions of protein and carbohydrate in their diets. They therefore conducted an experiment in which they fed locusts pellets containing varying proportions of protein and carbohydrate, … Read more

Does a high fibre diet prevent disease?

All doctors (and probably most non-doctors) have heard of Burkitt’s lymphoma, a type of cancer found primarily in children living in malaria-endemic areas in Africa. Denis Burkitt was the first person to describe the disease, and also the first person to propose that there was an environmental cause (now known to be simultaneous infection by both malaria and Epstein-Barr virus).

Most doctors probably don’t know … Read more