We'll be going in to more detail about this at the festival and we'll even be holding a debate for those of you with a strong opinion on this
Nutritional science may be in constant flux, it's virtually impossible to keep us with what you can and can't eat. So there is a general rule that can't steer you wrong, eat anything you like, in moderation and, if you do indulge, make sure you work it off.
The National Obesity Forum report claims dairy has been unfairly demonised. And they're mostly right. The truth is some studies have found eating dairy can reduce your risk of obesity. But others have found that it has no effect. And then there's the French paradox: our Gallic chums traditionally go heavy on the cheese – and wine, for that matter – and yet are relatively untroubled by heart disease.
All in all, it's probably best to not go completely overboard on the Edam. But no need to skip it altogether. Put it this way: you can eat more cheese than doughnuts. Just think quality not quantity.
Yes, protein is very good indeed. But this is one of the areas where the futility of providing general dietary advice is most obvious. The government guidelines recommend a daily protein intake of around 55g. An amount that would leave the average (athletic, handsome, kind to animals) Men's Healthreader feeling distinctly faint.
The fact is nutritional science is incredibly complicated. A balanced diet for one man might be distinctly wobbly for another. There are good fats and bad fats, good carbs and bad carbs, healthy ready meals and dodgy whole foods. The effect on your health of everything you consume is dependent on a thousand other factors beyond its nutritional cache, including but not limited to the rest of your diet, your metabolism, your lifestyle, your hormones and a variety of other behavioural and genetic factors. One size fits all recommendations should, therefore, always be taken with a pinch of salt.
Five-a-day is a good start, but seven is better. Whole foods are almost always preferable to anything processed. If you're going to snack make it fruit and nuts. Foods labelled 'low fat' or 'low cholesterol' give little to no indication of their health credentials or heart-protecting capabilities. Red meat is a treat; fish and chicken are your muscle-building protein staples. And sugar is the devil. Oh, and you should eat carbs, but wherever possible make them complex: think sweet potato, brown rice, and wholegrain pasta.