Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Low carbohydrate v low fat - the battle rages on

I never grow bored of reading up on the latest in the world of diet and fitness.

The change in opinion over the past 50 years is just staggering, but there are still some   weird post-war messages on how to eat well and maintain a healthy weight ingrained on the nation's psyche.

I have just finished reading the latest diet book to hit the shelves - six weeks to OMG by Venice A Fulton.

Although the title is very “yeh man, let’s feel the burn, go girl” and all that, there are actually some very interesting bits in it.

The underlying theme is - to lose weight you must cut carbohydrates, and there is no way around that fact.

Although the author does not advocate a zero-carb diet, he points out the very real fact that carbohydrates are the one limiting factor to losing/ maintaining weight.

He says fat is not a problem, virtually harmless and mistakenly maligned. To really take control of weight  you have to let go completely of any low-fat obsessions.

I have to say t this point I 100 per cent agree with him.

This brings me back to my point - we have been conditioned to believe that fat is the root of all evil, that we should be filling our mouths and cupboards with packets bearing the magic words  “low-fat”.

I believe we are all victims of a conspiracy cooked up by the food industry, that low-fat products are not just a waste of money, but worse for your health than normal foods, and more likely to make you gain weight.

This is because low-fat usually translates to high-carb – and that is where the danger lies.

Fulton claims weight gain/ loss is directly proportional to carbohydrate intake – I agree.

He urges readers to leave all current beliefs about fat outside the door, completely change your way of thinking, fat is NOT the enemy – I agree with this too.

Low-fat – even the phrase makes me angry now - is a multi-billion pound industry. There is too much money in it for any food manufacturer to now admit it is a load of rubbish.

Too much has been said, erroneously, about the virtues of low-fat for them to change tack now, however wrong they are.

I have seen people desperately trying to lose weight on low-fat plans wondering why eating a diet of sugar-laden fat-free yoghurts, fruit and boiled rice has no effect, while low-carb dieters shrink as you look at them.

And fruit juice?! - absolute poison.

I spoke to a doctor last week for a story, and he told me fruit juice was the worst thing you could possibly put into your body, loaded with fructose which travels straight to the liver to be packaged up into fat.

We were never meant to eat fruit to the extent we do now. I remember as a child a mango was something you saw once or twice a year and apples were slightly sour.

Now we pile our plates high with all manner of exotic fruits, all chopped up together, genetically-altered to make them as sweet as possible.  Our bodies were never designed to deal with that.

The evil diet industry leaps in to try and sabotage the low-carb message, sponsoring research to prove such lifestyles cause heart attacks and strokes, backed up with “proof” that “Dr Atkins died of a heart attack”.

Diabetes is a growing and more serious problem.

You only need to look at the biochemistry to see what’s really going on.

Sugar in the blood leads to insulin production, insulin is the key to fat storage, and sugar turns to fat rapidly.

Fat does not. When the body is not  loaded with carbohydrates it uses fat for energy, and does not lay it down in adipose tissue.

It’s a fact you do not need bread in your diet, whatever the grain industry tells you.

Nor do we need the amount of fruit the fruit farming industry tries to convince us we need to prevent us getting cancer??? What is all that about?

A lot of modern fruit has been genetically modified to make it sweeter – it is no longer a healthy option in large quantities for people wanting to lose weight.

You don’t need white refined starchy carbohydrates for energy, it is all a myth, the human body is perfectly happy running on energy from the carbohydrates in vegetables and energy from fat.

But don’t go on my word for it, look at the research, and make your own mind up.

Anyway, here are a few fascinating tips from OMG.

Carbohydrates are the absolute key to fat loss/ fat gain – this is probably the most vital dieting tip you will ever be given.

Forget everything you have been taught that fat should be avoided.

Anything with “sugar” or the suffix “-ose” in the first three ingredients is sugar-laiden rubbish.

Black coffee opens fat cells and forces them to burn their contents.

Sitting in a cold bath in the morning forces heat from the body and leads to more fat burn.

Many fruits will grind weight loss to a halt, they are packed with sugar.

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