Food and Drink People Science and nature

There is no perfect diet for humans

Many people are almost fanatical about their “perfect diet”, so much so that you’d think diets are new religions and we’ll one day see wars fought over disputes about carbs. Jabs at some of these diets aside, it turns out there is no perfect diet for humans.

Professor Eran Segal gave a talk at TEDxRuppin in July about research he and his team have been conducting at the Weizman Institute here in Israel into this notion of good diets and bad diets. As he pointed out, dieticians tend to work on the basis of standardised dietary information and recommendations to advise their patients.

It turns out that you can’t apply a standard model to everyone because our microbiomes are so different. What works for one person, puts another person at risk. So, perhaps, diets like Banting are good for some people because their bodies are compatible with the diet and terrible for others because they aren’t.

On a side note, when I think about Israeli hi-tech I’m proud of, this is a great example of how Israeli innovators are doing work that could change the world for the better.

As a diabetic, this kind of research is really interesting to me in a very personal way. I am still learning which foods tend to aggravate my diabetes and which help me manage it better. I can just imagine how beneficial a completely personalised dietary recommendation would be based on my unique biology.

For now, I’ll just stick with my current plan, though.

Image credit: Pexels

Applications Tutorials

One of the weirdest Firefox unboxing videos ever!

When it comes to unboxing videos, this Firefox unboxing video is the weirdest I’ve ever seen!

I have Firefox set as my default browser on my work laptop, primarily for performance reasons: Chrome is just too heavy for my somewhat underpowered Lenovo laptop, even running Ubuntu Linux.


I just don’t get the banting fad

I know banting seems like all the rage these days but I just don’t get it. Well, I roughly understand what the basic rules are but this diet and others like it seem to be, well, fads. At the moment banting is huge and people swear by it (I hear there are crop circles and everything) but what happened to moderate, yet fairly well rounded eating habits?

Before I continue I should probably point out that I’m not a dietician so don’t rely on what I am about to say or leap off tall buildings, even if you are wearing a red cape.

I had to change my diet a while ago when I was diagnosed as diabetic. What I really liked about the meal options my dietician gave me was that they made a lot of sense. She took me off sugars (diabetes – obvious, right?) and put me on to low GI foods which included carbs, fruits, vegetables and so on. I also stuck with relatively low fat meat, dairy and other foods which tend to have fat content.

My amazing wife switched our family’s diet almost overnight to this healthier option and I started exercising a lot more. I lost about 15 kgs by eating better and exercising more regularly and started to feel a lot better than I had for a long time. It was a little tough in the beginning because I was used to all the sweet stuff but I found a balance between small quantities of the “bad sweet stuff” I used to eat and my healthier meal options and it literally changed my life in a very sustainable way.

Food, to me, is something to enjoy and eat in moderation. Sure, many people can’t eat certain types of food and adjust their diets accordingly but when a diet becomes a hardship, it tends not to be one you’d be motivated to stick with. Also, add the seemingly fanatical banting supporters to the mix and it becomes a hazard carrying a loaf of bread in the vicinity of a bantite (what do you call banting adherents?).

Clearly banting has worked for a lot of people but it just seems like a fad to me which will be replaced by whatever post-paleo, neo-banting diet rolls around next …

Photography Travel and places

Gina's pasta maker and our culinary experience

Gina won a pasta maker in a competition with Table 21 and The Culinary Table so we took a drive out to Lanseria so she could pick up her prize.

]5 @ShazPhoto, @ChefAndrewR, Gina (@Gnat_J) and a friendly man from the Culinary Table presenting Gina with her prize.

We had a chance to spend some time in the restaurant which in a terrific space:

]6 The restaurant is a large open space with solid wood tables and a high ceiling

She participated in a short photo shoot with Sharon and Andrew in the store and restaurant:

]7 A photographer taking a photo over a photographer’s shoulder at 3 people who include 2 photographers – very meta

Our kids were hungry so we sat down for lunch. The food was terrific. They make the best french fries I’ve had (special potatoes, low oil content) …

Our daughter wanted a waffle that came with vanilla ice-cream (probably made at The Culinary Table) and raw honey …

]9 I wound up eating much of this, very nice!

I had the Free Range PinzGauer Beef Short-Rib Sandwich which was terrific.

]10 My lunch today

Gina had a duck salad with grilled nectaries which she really enjoyed. Our son ordered a toasted cheese sandwich but didn’t get through it all. Gina and I loved the food but I think the taste was a bit too different for our kids. Our daughter made good progress with the chips, though. This sort of food is probably wasted on younger kids so think of this as a treat for the grown-ups.

The Culinary Table then topped off the experience by refusing to charge us for our meal. Thank you! We had a good time and the drive back home was long enough for the kids to have a nap for most of the trip back.