Eating used to be simple. As long as the food was tasty, looked reasonably appetizing and was plentiful, we were content. But then science came to dinner, and all of a sudden sitting down at the table became a laboratory experience, and a confusing one at that. Eat fish, we were told, it’s chock full of omega-3 fats. Be careful, urged another report, fish may harbour “good” fats, but it’s also loaded with PCBs and mercury. We switched to margarine from butter because it had fewer saturated fats. But then came accusations that the trans fatty acids it contained clogged arteries just like saturated fats. Eat soy, we were told, it lowers your cholesterol. Don’t eat soy, it affects thyroid function. Drink milk, you need the calcium. Don’t drink milk, it forms mucus. Drink coffee, it is full of antioxidants. Don’t drink coffee, it raises blood pressure.
Many people throw up their arms in bewilderment at all this confusing nutritional information, and go back to their old dietary regimens. And that is too bad. Nutrition is important. The challenge is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and come to some practical conclusions about what to eat, based not on hearsay but on sound science.
Digest the science behind the food we eat at the annual Trottier Symposium. An AUCC Open Doors event, “Food: A Serving of Science” will be presented on Nov. 12 & 13 by the McGill Office for Science & Society, headed by Dr. Joe Schwarcz.
For more information go here.