Opinion: A little of what you fancy ...

...does you good - probably, and only in moderation

Hilary Ayshford
Managing Editor

This is the time of year when in many parts of the world people take advantage of the holiday season to let their hair down and their belt out a notch or two in an unfettered orgy of eating, drinking and making merry.

Healthy eating and exercise go out of the window in favour of overindulging in fatty, salty and sugary food and alcohol, followed by hours of immobility on the couch while the overtaxed digestive system attempts to deal with the surfeit.

A Mediterranean diet may be the best way of tackling obesity and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, but let’s face it: nobody really wants to sit down to a festive dinner of sardines and salad, regardless of how good it may be for you.

And going on a crash diet in January will probably do you more harm than good, so that’s a valid reason for not making resolutions you know you won’t be able to stick to.

Nor is there any point in kidding yourself that alcohol consumption can protect against coronary heart disease, as a new study in Sweden has found that this is true only for the 15% of the population with a particular genotype, and the drinking must be moderate rather than excessive. Red wine and dark chocolate may well contain antioxidants, but that doesn’t make them health foods.

And if you and your nearest and dearest feel like indulging in a kiss under the mistletoe, you should bear in mind that a single kiss lasting 10 seconds can be responsible for transferring as many as 80 million salivary bacteria between the participants, according to research by a team from the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).

Nothing in this life is without risk of some kind – it’s just a question of balance.

So from everybody here at Manufacturing Chemist and HPCi Media, we hope you have a very enjoyable, guilt-free, indulgent holiday and wish you a healthy, peaceful and prosperous year in 2015.