Fiona Duff: Stop chewing over all that food advice

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I sometimes wonder if all these dieticians and health experts ever get together and have a chat. Frankly, I doubt it very much.

Every week there is news of a food stuff that is good for you and the following week it’s bad. For the past few years I have been diligently stuffing five helpings of fruit and veg down my gullet – not the hardest of tasks as I’m rather fond of a banana at breakfast and vegetables with my other meals.

However, apparently I have just not been doing quite enough. I need to find space in my diet for another two portions, and I have also been eating too much fruit.

Of course, this regime should extend to the rest of my family which may cause problems. Teenage son isn’t too keen on vegetables at all. His idea of five a day is five peas on the side of his plate – and a couple of those might actually end up on the floor. Ooops.

Then again he doesn’t seem to be suffering too much from lack of greens – a tad on the skinny side but that’s more down to his father’s genes rather than the lack of cabbage passing his lips.

For the past few weeks we’ve also been bombarded with stories on how we all eat too much sugar, and looking at the sweetie wrappers lying on daughter’s floor, she is definitely in this category.

However, I also know that a small amount of dark chocolate is tickety boo for the ticker. Similarly, the media constantly issues warnings that we all drink far too much (guilty as charged m’lud), but anyone I have met in the health industry admits that a glass of Chilean cabernet sauvignon is good for the blood. The main problem being they often don’t tell you what size of glass into which this should be poured. At the back of the cupboard I have one that can take a whole bottle.

Anyway, my advice is that there is too much advice and probably better just to use a bit of common sense. Eat less of everything except vegetables and, as my mother would tell me, remember to wear clean underwear in case you end up in a road accident.