The Bad Food Bible
There are a lot of food myths out there that claim to have the blessing of medical and research science. Aaron Carroll, a medical doctor and expert on medical research, dispels many of the myths, like the claims that MSG is categorically bad for you, organic food is significantly healthier for you than conventionally grown foods, butter and salt lead to cardiac disease and death, and several other claims that all readers will recognize. From the start, Carroll gets to the heart of the matter, poorly done research and research results that are improperly said to have uncovered causality. The author describes the various levels of research study quality and also explains and invokes the power of meta analysis (studies of studies) to determine whether repeatability of results is there to back up a claimed health effect.
He also delves into the history behind many of our deepest, darkest food fears and shows, in many cases, poorly conducted research, collusion, industry bias, and even government control over certain aspects of our food supply chain that lead to erroneous claims for and against certain foods. This book is a great antidote to the friend who pushes organic foods so hard you begin to suspect they have Amazon (WholeFoods) stock and the relative who looks through your pantry and proceeds to lecture you on all the things in there that will kill you. Carroll is humorous in his delivery of the information especially when he describes how the knowledge he imparts has affected his food choices and other decisions. This is an educational read that is guaranteed to relax your stress over eating certain foods and teach you to question the quality of research behind the next food health claim you encounter. At the very least, you will take new assertions of food benefits and detriments with a grain of salt. (A grain of salt that Carroll shows you is not nearly as bad for you as you have been led to believe.)