Did anyone see article in Evening Standard on 2 January : The Constant Dieter written by Lucy Cavendish?

This article on dieting suggests that the Intermittent Fasting Diet 'has been proven by the Horizon TV programme to reduce weight...and to bring down cholesterol levels'. I could not resist a comment:

Lowering cholesterol levels is one thing and keeping the level down is another. The Horizon reporter may have reduced the cholesterol level through Intermittent Fasting but I doubt that many doctors working with patients would recommend this as the way forward. Keeping your cholesterol level down (if yours has a tendency to be raised) requires a sustained effort to eat a low fat diet and to exercise regularly. I have recently completed such a programme myself.


13 Replies

  • Wow that's an amazing weight loss. I always wonder though whether the weight stays off successfully if it has been lost in this kind of way. My concern is that it doesn't introduce the weight loser to an ongoing and sustainable eating programme. You are right to be sceptical about the cholesterol claims - if only raised cholesterol could be dealt with by a quick fix. It goes up pretty quickly too.

  • Sugar and starch are often more of a problem than fat as such, and a certain amount of good fat is absolutely vital in the diet. (Who is your "Consultant"?)

    If you reduce sugar and starch, a lot of so-called unhealthy fat will automatically be reduced with it (biscuits, buns, crisps etc) and you can still have some good healthy fat left. Otherwise the diet is a misery.

  • The evening standard? That's one of those papers that they have to give away, isn't it? Seems about the level I'd expect.

  • A weight reducing diet of any sort needs to be undertaken with care. No one is the same. What works for one person may not work for another. As someone who suffered from annorexia as a teenager I am very wary of any "slimming" diet with claims of health and weight reducing benefits that does not incorporate a life changing eating programme. Fasting for two days a week may help you lose weight but there is no constructive life changing regime to help you to maintain that system as you reach your "goal" weight.

    Fasting is a slippery slope. What is to stop you thinking, "I can do this, now perhaps I can fast for three or four days and lose more" We are already seeing horrendous reports of websites advocating annorexia as a means of keeping "slim" with vomiting and fasting a means of keeping in some sort of race to be as thin as possible.

    No weight reducing diet should be undertaken without the agreement of your GP. There are several "professional" slimming programmes - and some of these are even on Prescription!! Yes it is good to be able to lose weight, and all the best to those of you who are taking up the challenge this New Year, but do it sensibly, lose only 1-2 lbs (1/2 to 1 Kg) a week, take up an exercise that you know you will keep up every day, and you will find it a life changing experience that will be easy to maintain once you reach your goal weight.

  • Traci, I was interested to read about your fat free diet. I had to reduce my cholesterol level recently and am about to launch a new website (on 7 January) with the 90 recipes I concocted for my reduction programme (as well as the diary I kept while doing so). Let me know if you would like me to send you the link to the website.

  • That would be great to have the site- I'm afraid I'm not a very inventive cook- I have high cholesterol- part my fault and part genetic I think

    It's very boring but I tend to live on poached salmon and salad- I get bored then stray on to hot dinners etc 8 try hard to beware of pit falls with Gravy etc so any help would be great

  • Hi Patsyblue

    Say goodbye to hot dinners then! I will post up the link on 7 January for fromthehealthyheart.com and then if you subscribe (free) you will get a new recipe every day for 90 days. You can also post up your own low fat recipes if you would like to do so. There will also be a diary section on the website which is the diary I kept while lowering my cholesterol and has lots of info and amusing stories (I hope).

  • Thank you -- that's brilliant - already I don't feel so alone with this problem- I've been stressing and stressing over it all

  • You can get free low fat recipes from Change4Life too.

  • It's interesting that a doctor would rather endorse starving (fasting) than acknowledge that most of the benefits are from restricting carbohydrates!

  • "Keeping your cholesterol level down (if yours has a tendency to be raised) requires a sustained effort to eat a low fat diet and to exercise regularly. I have recently completed such a programme myself"

    It's my experience that eating real food (as opposed to processed, including grains, soya and vegetable oils) is beneficial for blood lipids (and health) whereas low-fat leaves you feeling hungry, and any benefits are short-lived.

  • What saddens me is the harm caused by the idea that Cholesterol is dangerous.

    If we actually look at the way each cell in our body is contructed we find that cholesteroll is fundamental to cell structure.


    Cholesterol Helps Regulate Key Signalling Proteins in the Cell

    If you want to read the actual science supporting this it's here.


    Cholesterol modulates cell signaling and protein networking by specifically interacting with PDZ domain-containing scaffold proteins

    Cholesterol is even more fundamental to the working of every cell in your body than perhaps we thought before. Do we really think it's a good idea to compromise our bodies ability to create or maintain the cells in our body?

    If we look at the way cholesterol determines how our immune system functions.

    Cholesterol Boosts the Memory of the Immune System


    It is any wonder that reducing cholesterol to unnaturally low levels leads to rises in all cause mortality?

  • There is an article on this 5:2 diet by Xanthe Clay in today's Weekend section of the Telegraph (which costs £2!)....actually I think the Standard is a good paper as well.

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