Beware fake sourdough, forget baby carrots and fruity cereal, says food expert

by | Oct 13, 2022 | News

Food is key to good health, but the question of what to eat has never seemed so complicated. Bestselling author and top 100 most-cited scientist Tim Spector’s latest book offers some easy-guidelines on the new science of eating well.

Tim Spector says that after 30 years of studying food and disease, his team at King’s College London and the personalised nutrition company ZOE are making exciting discoveries about the highly personalised state of nutrition We now know that no two people will metabolise any food or drink in precisely the same way, he says.

Although genes play a part, we believe the rest is down to the highly personalised state of the microbiome which live in our guts. 

In his latest book, Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well, Spector champions a new approach to nutrition, encouraging readers to forget misleading calorie counts and nutritional breakdowns. In Food for Life he suggests a comprehensive approach to what we should all know about food today. In this evidence-based guide to the science of eating, Spector investigates everything from environmental impact and food fraud to allergies and deceptive labelling. The book also details many amazing and surprising properties of everyday foods, which scientists are only just beginning to understand.

Moving away from misleading notions of calories or nutritional breakdowns, Food for Life empowers us to make our own food choices based on a deeper understanding of the true benefits and harms that come from our daily transactions with the foods around us.

“‘Free from’, or ‘natural’ are labels that manufacturers strive for, as it helps sales greatly to say a food is GM-free or glutenfree, even if the product is meat, dairy or even water, and so could not possibly present any gluten risk in the first place. These apparently positive messages merely serve to distract us from thinking about the quality of the food, and food manufacturers can legally still use outdated and essentially meaningless health claims, such as declaring products ‘low in cholesterol’, or ‘high in zinc’, without any relevant health evidence to support this.”

Scan any supermarket shelf and you’ll find food packaging projecting images of golden cornfields or happy cows grazing to dupe us into thinking we are eating a natural food rather than a highly refined mixture of unrelated chemicals, warns Spector, writing in The Daily Mail.


Food for Life also includes easy-to-implement action points and useful tables as practical tools in our everyday food decisions, presented in a novel and comprehensive format. Ultimately, this book encourages us to fall in love again with food and celebrate its many wondrous properties, which science is still only just beginning to understand.


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