Food versus pills
Can a pill ever outperform real food for better nutrition? Our investigation finds out
This advice from food writer Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s
Dilemma, is short, memorable and – on the face of it – pretty sensible. Twinned with a couple of his other dietary commandments – “Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognise” and “Don’t eat anything you can’t spell” – it’s become the go-to advice for anyone who wants to keep eating healthy and easy. But is it really that simple?
For one thing, there’s compelling evidence that “real” food isn’t as real as it once was, its nutritional value leached out by selective breeding, factory farming and over-processing. For another, pills and powders have never been more advanced, and the best ones harness decades of scientific research into best-practice nutrition to help you top up on nutrients that are nearly impossible to get elsewhere.
And as a man interested in fitness, your needs are likely to be a bit different from those of the more, shall we say, couch-loving gentleman. So based on the evidence, do you need supplements in your life? Can they ever be better than the real thing? And might the day come when you can live on them exclusively?
“Eatfood. Nottoo much. Mostly plants.”