After experiencing a “major health event” at the top of a mountain, Tim Spector decided to investigate his diet.
Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, has published more than 800 research articles on the topic and is ranked in the top one per cent of the world’s most cited scientists. His current work focuses on the microbiome. He’s also chair of the British Gut microbiome project.
Spector sifted through scientific literature, trying to identify which diet factors were good and which weren’t. And what did he found? “Lots of dogmas with no evidence to support it,” he said. “Counting calories, avoiding high-fat food, never skipping meals, get five a day. There are so many conflicting dogmas,” Spector told the audience at WIRED Health.
It’s clear we have no idea what diet works best, he claimed. Rates of obesity have tripled in every country measured and Spector explained there’s “no one diet that fits all”.
In a trial comparing a high-fat diet – full of “lashings of olive oil and cheese”, according to Spector – and a low-fat diet, made up of low fat dairy and lean meat, the high fat group was actually more healthy.