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In an article cheekily linked as “10 types of diet books that prove you can’t eat anything,” io9 notes: “What should you cut out of your diet to be more healthy? Everything. According to the most popular diet books on the market, there’s barely a food on Earth that’s safe to eat.”

Why is a website devoted to science and futurism talking about diets? These ONE WEIRD TRICK–style approaches all have a science-y feel to them. They talk about biological activity and chemistry and sometimes even paleontology. io9 compares each one to the consensus in the medical world: the overall message is “If there’s one thing for sure, it’s never just one thing.”

With the possible [sic] exception of juicing, choosing a random diet on this list and adopting it would probably improve the health of anyone reading this. These books are right to point out that most people aren’t aware of how much fat, sugar, processed food, and refined carbohydrates they eat or how bad those things are for their health. To get really healthy, most of us need to radically change our diet, not just add a couple of salads a week. That said, there is no diet that can make you younger, cure or prevent cancer, magically give you limitless energy, or fix your brain. There are also no foods that are equivalent to meth or toxic waste. And, finally, there was no golden age when everyone was “natural” and “healthy.” Humans have always had diet problems; what’s changed is that now we have scientific investigations that can help us understand them. [emphasis added]

Head over to io9 to read the write-ups on sugar-as-addiction, Paleo, juicing, grains, gluten, superfoods, meatless eating, pH, probiotics, and whether we should be cooking at all!

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