Abstain, abstain, abstain. That’s what the nannies tell us. We don’t need excuses to enjoy our beer, coffee chocolates etc. Here is a book that provides scientific evidence to show that some of the things that our nannies tell us not to eat/drink are actually good for us. Pleasure without the guilt. In moderation, of course.
- Beer. The Harvard School of Public Health has reported that more than 100 prospective studies have shown an inverse association (25%-40%) between moderate alcohol consumption (equivalent to 1 can of 5% alcohol beer a day) and cardio vascular disease.
- Sex. The ancient Chinese discourage sex and believed that it depletes one’s “life essence”. In reality, sex has been found to boost immunity and improve both physical and mental well being.
- Coffee. Drinking up to 5 cups of coffee a day can reduce the chances of death from all causes. Caffeine is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the brain and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Chocolate. Studies have shown that French patients who continued to enjoy chocolates had healthier weight and better blood work than their American counterparts that have been told to avoid chocolates. There is also a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among chocolate eaters than those who don’t eat chocolates.
- Sugar. Limit but don’t eliminate. Children who have been brought up sugar-free often end up being sugar addicts. It is better to control sugar intake than avoid it entirely.
- Fats. Whole milk and egg yolks are good for your health. Low fat products have not been successful in combating obesity. More flavourings are added to non-fat foods and people tend to consume more as they are less filling. Limit but don’t eliminate.
- Whole grain bread. Unless you’re gluten sensitive (and most people are not, less than 1% are) whole grain bread, pastas and other wheat products are actually good for you. Complex carbohydrates actually promote healthy weight loss.
- Breakfast and real food. Fad diets are often started by charismatic figures like cult leaders. Following these diets require faith and discipline, but these diets are often unhealthy and don’t work in the long run. Eat whole food.
- Lazy workouts. Recent studies have shown that moderate exercisers are healthier than endurance athletes. A very large study in Denmark involving thousands of runner and slackers found that running too little or too much can both harm you. In 2015, a study published by the American Heart Society. 1.1 million women had their health monitored for for 9 years. Optimal health was achieved by those who exercised moderately. Those who engaged in strenuous physical activities for 4-6 times a week experienced a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. High intensity 10-minute micro workouts have also been found to be beneficial.
- Sunlight. Go into the sun and put on effective zinc oxide containing sunscreen. It’s not just the vitamin D. Sunlight also boosts immunity, promote good sleep and alleviates symptoms of depression as long as you protect against skin and eye damage.
- Pickles. Fermented foods contain friendly bacteria that can maintain gut health. Go for organically preserved food.
- Down and dirty. The ancient Greeks knew that good hygiene practices lowers the chances of illness. Modern man, with powerful disinfectants at his disposal, brings hygiene to a level way beyond the ancients. The downside is that constant exposure to a clean and sterile environment may actually lower our resistance to various illnesses. The authors recommend the use of soaps and wipes that do not contain powerful disinfectants capable of killing 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses.
There is another “vice” that has been included in this book and that is happiness. I decided to leave it out as there is nothing counter intuitive about happiness being good for you.
Of course, the more astute readers would note that the bulk of the information in this book can be gleaned off the internet. Buying this book makes sense if you need to slap someone with it in case he/she tries to nanny you.