A RECENT study found that ‘eating a piece of fruit and a large serving of vegetables a day could reduce the risk of a stroke by 13 per cent.’ Well, researchers, when ‘could’ becomes ‘will,’ give me a ring, come back when you’re sure!

It seems what kills you this week will add a decade to your lifespan next week. Ideas like this change so often there’s little point worrying about it. We’ve all got to die of something, after all. Eating more fruit and vegetables whilst at the same time reducing meat consumption, particularly red meat, will reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack largely by reducing cholesterol levels.

However, it can be taken too far. Another report showed that vegetarians tended to have lower incidences of stroke and heart attack than those who ate large amounts of red meat, which is unsurprising. Vegans had a higher risk of stroke. The body needs cholesterol, but too much is a problem. Vegans possibly don’t have enough, meat eaters too much.

Reports like this aren’t doing a lot for my blood pressure as they raise more questions than they answer. But they presumably attracted funding and kept the authors in jobs. Which seems a primary function of research these days…

But how I wish these food researchers would simply make up their minds – another example is eggs. One minute they’re a no-no, then back on the table, next accompanied by a stroke warning. Then we learn that ‘eating red meat is not as bad for you as once thought’ and then it is! Any day now they’ll be recommending a full fried breakfast as essential to health!

And next week too much coffee will be bad for your haemorrroids. What are these researchers drinking to come up with such daft conclusions?

It was only recently I read somewhere that drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. But the logic of the recommended two ‘dry’ days a week is somehow compelling. Mine are mañana and the day after. What are yours?

Double G&T, anyone?

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘Betrayal,’ ‘The Girl in the Woods,’ ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as ebook (€0.99;£0.99), ibook, paperback & audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.

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Nora Johnson

Nora is the author of popular psychological suspense and crime thrillers and a freelance journalist.


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