In a blow to the, “Food is Medicine” crowd the results of a recent study indicate that fruits and vegetables have little, if any, anti-cancer effects.
Despite being told for years about the mystical and magical powers of leafy greens and organic produce of all kinds, after looking at the diets of almost a half-a-million Europeans over an 8-year period researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found a very weak link between eating two portions of fruits and vegetables a day and the reduced risk of cancer.
When looking at all the statistics and making all kinds of adjustments that are likely too boring and complicated for us to hear about, these researchers figured out that eating fruits and veggies reduced the risk of cancer by a “very weak” 3 percent. The news is just another illustration of how the healthy eating crowd has totally oversold the benefits of following a healthy diet.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of people telling me how great fruits and veggies are. Sure I like all kinds of produce, but stop preaching to me and telling me that you’re going to be healthier because you love kale, pomegranate, blueberries, spinach and all that.
As a matter of fact, I love Brussel Sprouts and escarole and broccoli rabe because they taste great, not because I think they are going to save my life and protect me from cancer. “Experts” are still claiming that fruits and vegetables are high in anti-oxidants that protect us from a variety of damages and problems despite the reality that there is little proof that this is so.
As a matter of fact, the more studies done on anti-oxidants, the less justification there is to tout these nutrients as vital to good health. And please, let’s do away with the nonsensical title of, “Superfood,” that has been bestowed upon many a plant-based food over the past several years.
In response to this news esteemed expert Dr. Walter Willet of Harvard writes in an editorial accompanying the study, “A very weak or undetectable association between fruits and vegetables and risk of cancer does not exclude the possibility that one or a small group of fruits or vegetables … has an important protective effect.”
In a comment to the New York Times Willet says, “We now have much more information from prospective studies on intake of fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus the advice should continue, but the benefit will be primarily for heart disease and stroke.”
But this is the same kind of stuff experts have been telling us for the past 20 years ago about how produce would protect us against cancer, and after all we have learned recently about the dubious powers of foods to deliver any kind of protective or health benefits we maintain a healthy skepticism towards such claims.
So the best bet is to enjoy all things in moderation, especially the foods that you love to eat. Get some exercise and don’t feel guilty about eating or drinking things that give you pleasure, and certainly do not let the “Healthy Eating Police” make you feel guilty for doing so.