“A summary of all scientific studies on the subject of nutrition.” The subtitle of Bas Kast’s book suggests an ambitious endeavour. All studies? Presented in a way that is accessible to the general public, even entertaining? Kast’s approach is refreshing: he refrains from preaching. ‘The Diet Compass does not prescribe a rigid meal plan and expects you to stick to it’, he promises. Those who read his book will soon understand why. In short: people are individuals, and so are their ‘ideal’ diets. That goes a long way toward explaining the masses of diet gurus and the endless stream of new advice they produce.
Each and every lifestyle choice, be it veganism, low-carb eating or the so-called paleo diet, comes with at least one study advertising it as the be all and end all of good health. Those studies are often problematic: many of them merely highlight the correlation between a specific diet and the health benefits it allegedly provides. But correlation does not imply causation.
Bas Kast also criticises that the studies often fail to take context into account. As an outsider to his chosen discipline – Kast is a science journalist with a background in psychology and biology – he set out to gain an unbiased and complete insight into the current state of research. He says that he has read ‘thousands of studies’ on health and nutrition. Enough research to present his most important insights to the general public and discuss ways of implementing them in the restaurant industry.