A friend recently wrote to me asking how I was while sharing her progress with a recently adopted eating plan. After congratulating her on her discipline and good intentions (I was being most sincere) I suggested that I only partake in one diet, once a year. That is the Christmas diet, incredible effective at putting on weight.
Now that I am back to eating normally (for me) I feel a whole lot better. Since diet, or lifestyle eating, has been on my mind more than usual I’m compelled to share further interesting observations from the web.
Obesity researcher Zoë Harcombe challenges yet again the efforts of main stream media. This time it is BBC’s Horizon programme and their study on personalised approaches to dieting based on genetics, hormones and psychology.
The gist of the study was to prove there are different types of obese people - Feasters, Emotional Eaters and Constant Cravers, with a more suitable diet for each type. Zoë says she doesn’t buy into this because obesity is a relatively new disease. In the same time frame that obesity has become a widespread health concern, it is unlikely that hormones, genes and our psychology has suddenly become the cause. It is far more likely and consistent with the time frame that the introduction of processed foods is the ultimate issue.
The full article for an interesting read - http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/01/horizon-whats-the-right-diet-for-you/
I’m sure I’m not the only person wondering whether the processed foods could be effecting the expression of our genes, hormones and psychology? With this thought I’m left with how I often feel about arguments - are we debating the ultimate issue or merely the details/process?
I’m not accusing Zoë for missing the point nor do I feel I have nearly enough credibility or ‘education’ on nutrition to really have more than a personal view, but people ‘in the know’ (experts) seem to love arguing about right and wrong. So often I feel an argument goes off track, perhaps intentionally, or not, as a way to create a stronger position in the debate.
Here’s another example which leaves me confused.
Another article by Professor Mike Gibney, titled ‘January nutritional nonsense’, provides yet another articulate argument against three pieces of nutrition advice.
However, on this occasion I find myself confused by what he writes. I have mostly been totally interested in what he shares on his blog and with the education and professional pedigree such as his, who I am to dare challenge his views. But I will on this occasion.
The second piece of advice (from a news article published by a ‘weight-loss expert’) which he challenges is this - “Halving your carbohydrate intake will increase your vitality and energy”.. with a few supporting details about the digestive system’s erratic response to glucose, typically the result of carbohydrate consumption. Dr Gibney explains the body’s need for energy, in some detail, using this as an argument why cutting carbs (reducing available energy source) would cause less vitality in the body, not better health or weight loss.
The obvious problem I see with this argument is the assumption that carbs are the only available energy source to us. I cannot see the original newspaper article Dr Mike has referenced, so cannot ascertain if alternate energy sources were mentioned, such as fat. If fat (good fats) as an alternative were mentioned, then Dr Mike has reduced the argument to one that he can easily debate and ‘win’ - (straw-man argument). If alternative energy-rich foods were not mentioned by the weight-loss expert, then Dr Gibney makes a very good point, though chooses not to mention the alternatives.
So what is my point about mentioning this? My point is that it is really tough for most us, who are mere mortals when it comes to a solid nutritional understanding, to have complete faith in nutritional advice being splattered all over the internet... but of course we knew that.
Image courtesy of ‘Stuart Miles' / FreeDigitalPhotos.net