Download An apple a day: the myths, misconceptions, and truths about by Joseph Schwarcz PDF

By Joseph Schwarcz

Devour salmon. It’s choked with strong omega-3 fat. Don’t consume salmon. It’s jam-packed with PCBs and mercury. consume extra vegetables. They’re filled with strong antioxidants. Don’t consume extra vegetables. The insecticides offers you melanoma. overlook your dinner jacket and wear your lab coat: you should be a dietary scientist nowadays ahead of you sit to eat—which is why we'd like Dr. Joe Schwarcz, the professional in connecting chemistry to daily life. In An Apple an afternoon, he’s taken his thorough wisdom of foodstuff chemistry, utilized it to today’s most sensible meals fears, traits, and questions, and leavened it along with his trademark lighthearted strategy. the result's either an pleasing revelation of the miracles of technology taking place in bodies each time we chew right into a morsel of nutrients, and a telling exploration of the myths, claims, and misconceptions surrounding our obsession with diets, food, and weight.Looking first at how nutrients impacts our wellbeing and fitness, Dr. Joe examines what’s in tomatoes, soy, and broccoli that may retain us fit and the way the loads of compounds in one meals react after they hit bodies. Then he investigates how we control our nutrients provide, delving into the technology of meals ingredients and what advantages we'd become aware of from including micro organism to sure meals. He clears up the confusion approximately contaminants, reading every little thing from pesticide residues, remnants of antibiotics, the feared trans fat, and chemical compounds which could leach from cookware. And he is taking a studied examine the technology of energy and weighs in on well known diets.

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Extra resources for An apple a day: the myths, misconceptions, and truths about the foods we eat

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There is no shortage of cholesterol-reducing claims on behalf of dietary supplements formulated from natural products. Some, such as guggulipids extracted from the guggul tree, seem exotic, while policosanol from sugar cane or allicin from garlic sound more mundane. Promoters of all such products muster up studies to hype their wares, but the scientific consensus is that the evidence is pretty thin. Still, the search for truly effective natural products continues, and justifiably so. After all, it is pretty clear that populations consuming more fruits and vegetables tend to have lower cholesterol levels.

To complicate things further, each family in turn comprises many compounds that are linked by some common feature of their molecular structure. As one might expect, because these antioxidants have different molecular structures, they also have different degrees of antioxidant activity. Obviously, knowledge about the distribution of polyphenols in our diet, coupled with knowledge about which ones have the most activity, would be very useful. But before we start jumping on the polyphenol bandwagon, we need to ask a pertinent question: What evidence do we have that polyphenols in the diet can contribute to good health?

That’s what made the results of the experiment so surprising. The risk of death from prostate cancer was significantly greater in the rats that were fed the pure lycopene extract! This would seem to suggest that there are other components in tomatoes that have a protective effect and that the whole food is beneficial, while isolated components may not be. True, the study was done in rats, but it does send us a message. Eat a balanced diet, with lots of vegetables and fruits, because shortcuts may not work.

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