Shock diabetes figures in England and Wales... - Healthy Eating

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Shock diabetes figures in England and Wales amongst the young

Hi everyone,

This was on the news this morning that the number of young people in England and Wales is 10x higher than previously thought.

This is a shocking statistic and we as a society need to be aware of type 2 diabetes and the serious health consequences that accompany it. Type 2 Diabetes is more serious the younger we are and to me it's not just the Govt. that should be doing more, but 'us' as a society as we should take responsibility for the food we feed ourselves and our loved ones.

Here's a link to the article on the BBC this morning:

bbc.co.uk/news/health-46290849

Here's an interesting link to Diabetes UK where you can see your own risk to developing type 2 D:

riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/s...

Interestingly, type 2 Diabetes can be reversed with diet and a plant based diet is one way of reversing it. Here's a couple of links from Diabetes UK:

diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-di...

Type 2 Diabetes and a vegetarian diet:

diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-di...

To me this shows the importance of healthy eating and for us and our needs as there is no one size fits all with dietary needs and it makes the saying 'we are what we eat' very true.

I am not diabetic I just want to help raise awareness of it, so is that fatty sugary treat really a treat...

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I do find this shocking, but not in the least surprising, especially in view of the misinformation put out by precisely the people who ought to be doing something about it.

I did the questionnaire on the diabetes.org.uk site and was told that my risk of developing diabetes is 10% due to "lifestyle factors". It didn't even ask anything about my lifestyle or diet, so how did it come to that conclusion? It turns out that it made the assessment purely on my genetic background and gender, which is just stupid. It's true that people with my genetics react badly to the SAD diet, but since I don't eat such a diet, I'm pretty confident my risk is close to zero. This sort of misuse of (or misunderstanding of) statistical trends drives me up the wall.

What's so utterly tragic about all this is that there is one and only one diet that dramatically increases your risk of diabetes (and heart disease, and many other chronic conditions), and that's the one promoted by the health authorities: enormous amounts of concentrated/refined carbohydrates and synthetic foods, in conjunction with almost zero fat. How can we tell? Because more people than ever before are signing on to the "healthy eating" fads promoted by government, and yet the rate of diabetes (and prediabetes) is through the roof. There's also a rapidly-accumulating mountain of scientific data showing how and why the standard-issue "healthy" diet has such terrible effects. No human in our entire evolutionary history has ever eaten the diet the health mafia promote (at least not voluntarily), and in fact it would have been technologically impossible for any non-industrial society. It's a mystery to me how the whole idea ever gained traction; it's ridiculous on the face of it.

There are, as you said, a whole bunch of different ways to stay healthy. The human body is pretty resilient and can subsist on more or less anything that nature provides. I am disgusted by the continual insistence of the UK government, and QUANGOs like diabetes.org.uk, that all the natural options are bad for you, and we should all be eating the dubious output of food laboratories and follow off-the-wall superstitions if we want to stay healthy.

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I'm 1 in 10 too - scored zero on everything except age ... What's a SAD diet?

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Standard American Diet, also known simply as the Western Diet. Lots of processed or refined carbs, very low fat, vegetables when you can be bothered, sugar ad lib. It's the diet recommended by (or at least tacitly supported by) the USDA.

The diet recommended by the NHS is not radically different to SAD except for a greater emphasis on vegetables. Apart from its energy value, fat in the diet tends to slow the absorption rate of carbohydrates and is an important carrier for micronutrients, so when you remove fat from a high-carb diet, the results are disastrous.

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I think we agree on much of this, but I'm honestly confused by one thing you've stated. What are these "concentrated/refined carbohydrates" you mention? Surely all fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and veggies are good for us? Are you talking about whole grains? Those are usually good for us too. What "concentrated / refined carbs" are you referring to that are recommended by the USDA and NHS?

Also, what fats are you promoting? Saturated fats, processed oils (often high in omega 6), or the oils naturally found in whole foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and other unprocessed food? I would agree that natural whole-food plant-based oils are essential, but if you're referring to animal-based or any saturated fat (as from coconuts), I don't.

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All food is "good for us". The question is, what is food? I would argue that most of the stuff you find in T**co isn't even food. It's a bunch of chemicals squished together into attractive little blocks, coloured and textured to look like food.

If you've never seen the USDA guidelines, I recommend you Google them, because the opinions of the USDA have a much wider reach than North America. It's probably fair to say that every meme in mainstream nutrition originated from them, with only minor local adaptations. Here's a quote I like:

"For example, if you are an active woman who needs about 2,200 calories a day, 9 servings of bread, cereals, rice, or pasta would be right for you".

Nine servings. How on earth do you fit nine servings of stodge into one day? The guidelines further state, "keep total fat to about 73 grams per day" (incidentally, notice the completely superfluous precision in that number). Assuming ~400 calories from protein, the implication is that a "serving" is 120kCal, so we're talking about 10 slices of bread per day, 700g of cooked pasta, a kilogram of cooked rice, or some equivalent combination. If I ate like that, I'd look like ... well, an American.

Now here's the thing. Corn-fed Americans can only access that amount of high-density energy because the corn machine is so heavily subsidized. Nature does not normally provide that quantity of seeds (remember, wheat is a seed). Who even eats "whole grains"? Have you ever chewed on a handful of fresh wheat grains? I have, just out of curiosity, and it's not very appetizing. As you correctly said, most of what humans would ingest as "carbs" would naturally be in other forms - leaves, fruit (seed pods), storage tubers, and so on ... and even then, with large seasonal variations.

As for fats, I'd suggest anything that occurs naturally in foods is fine. Any oil that can be extracted with modest human effort - olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil - is fine. Fats that can be produced only with the application of energy or chemical engineering (vegetable oils, transesterified oils, hydrogenated oils, and indeed feedlot-raised meat fat) should be treated with suspicion.

There is absolutely no reason why coconut oil (to take a random example) should be bad for you. What else are people in the tropics supposed to use? Where would they get "healthy" unsaturated oils from? People have been eating coconut oil for millennia, and there is no known metabolic pathway which converts the constituents of coconut oil into something harmful. The idea that a C=C bond is inherently dangerous is something dreamed up by people who sat at the back of highschool science class making fart noises and flicking paper at each other.

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First of all let me say that your comments about USDA shocked but I guess did not surprise me as well. That's completely ridiculous and they should be ashamed. Let me move on from that for now. I'd like to suggest that you and I disagree on oils. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You think that the people who have consumed coconuts for millennia turned a significant amount of it into coconut oil? Maybe but why bother? Just eat the coconut. Even if they did use a lot of coconut oil, they'd hardly be the first humans to make a poor dietary choice. We are shockingly bad at it. So why exactly would you suspect vegetable oils but not coconut oil? It takes a huge amount of olives to make a small amount of olive oil. How is that it significantly different from processing whole coconuts to oil?

As for a C=C bond being dangerous, I try not to assume anything based on simple logic when dealing with a complex system of systems like the human body. I wasn't in the back of the classroom. I was the one asking "why?" when the science teacher was telling us not to look into the laser or whatever.

I can show you studies (6 or so) that demonstrate that coconut oil is worse than almost everything else when it comes to raising cholesterol levels, arterial inflammation, and other not-good things. However, consume the coconut (or other nuts for that matter) without this processing and it's beneficial. This is what actual studies say. We see this simple pattern repeated in many things: Consume some processed, condensed part of a whole food and it's bad, but eat the unprocessed whole food and it's good. That's why I eat only whole foods with very, very little processing. I'm not raw-only, though, so I guess we all draw the line somewhere.

My guess is that you like a high-fat low-carb diet and would have trouble getting enough calories if you couldn't consume oils extracted from whole foods, so you say that this particular processing is fine. I consume no processed oils. I don't consume olive oil but eat olives, for example. I eat avocados, nuts, and seeds for most of my oils (but of course almost every plant-based whole food has some oil of various types).

Just a few last points. I eat whole grains. I'm an American. My BMI is 22.8 and I'm 61 years old. I will admit that the vast majority of my fellow Americans are, well, not me. I also admit that their average size is impressive. As one comedian puts it: "I look at them in awe and ask, 'How do you even do that?'"

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Please check your private messages, JAS9. It's okay.:-)

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>> Maybe but why bother? Just eat the coconut.

Well, they do. Making coconut oil takes effort. However, there's a band of countries around the tropics that uses coconuts as the go-to source of oil for the same reason Greeks use olives: it's what grows. The usual method is to macerate the coconut with a sort of circular file mounted on a little motor. So actually they use all the pulp - I'm only aware of a few places where coconut oil is refined and bottled - but the oil tends to separate out during cooking. Personally, I do use VCO for cooking, but a 500g jar lasts me for many weeks.

I suppose my point is that, in the amounts you can make with a human-sized extractor, it would seem incredibly unlikely that coconut oil is the cause of heart disease (or any other disease) in tropical populations.

>> So why exactly would you suspect vegetable oils but not coconut oil?

Point taken, but the main problem is that PUFAs are not heat-stable: some of the products are carcinogenic and some are just nasty (i.e., that plasticky gunk that collects around your frying pan). If not overheated, and consumed in modest quantities, I doubt they're a health hazard.

>> I can show you studies (6 or so) that demonstrate that coconut oil is worse than almost everything else when it comes to raising cholesterol levels, arterial inflammation, and other not-good things. However, consume the coconut (or other nuts for that matter) without this processing and it's beneficial.

Maybe. But "raised cholesterol" is only a problem if you think it's a problem; it has no known association with real-world outcomes. There's no known mechanism for e.g. increased inflammation. What is it in coconut oil that might have that effect? What else are the subjects eating that might have a bearing on the result? Saying "oh, it must be the saturated fats" is just jumping to conclusions. Science doesn't work by looking for proof: that's just cherry-picking. If your hypothesis is "coconut oil shortens your life", then the conscientious scientist will actively search for evidence that it doesn't, and if he can't find any, he'll investigate every possibility to find out exactly what the problem is. It seems to me that nutritionists can't be bothered with that last bit, because it's hard. So they just endlessly repeat experiments that show statistical associations, but never investigate causality.

I was the one asking "why?" when the science teacher was telling us not to look into the laser or whatever.

And did you find out why you shouldn't look into the laser? :)

My high-school electronics project was building a 10kV power supply for a He-Ne laser (now a bygone relic supplanted by semiconductors). One of my classmates actually thought it would be a good idea to stare down the beam (before I could stop him). He didn't stare for very long.

>> Consume some processed, condensed part of a whole food and it's bad, but eat the unprocessed whole food and it's good.

Yes, broadly speaking, I'd agree with this. It does seem like the more something is processed, the more likely it is to cause problems. Not always, but sometimes.

>> My guess is that you like a high-fat low-carb diet and would have trouble getting enough calories if you couldn't consume oils extracted from whole foods, so you say that this particular processing is fine.

It's very easy to get sufficient dietary fat from whole foods. The crucial point is that fat is very energy-dense, so you only need ~150g/day (the rest being carbs and protein). I use butter and oils (of various sorts) as one normally would for cooking, but I don't drown everything in grease.

>>I also admit that their average size is impressive. As one comedian puts it: "I look at them in awe and ask, 'How do you even do that?'"

That's the funny thing, isn't it? It is actually quite difficult to get that enormous. It takes concerted effort and a very specific combination of dietary mistakes. If I didn't know better I'd think they were doing it on purpose. However, to return full circle: the USDA isn't helping. Their raison d'être, remember, is to keep the market for agricultural produce buoyant. In my personal opinion, everything that is wrong with food policy and agriculture in the US is the fault of the USDA. While one might argue that they're just doing they're job (also known as "just following orders"), one can't do the things they're doing without turning a blind eye to the fundamental wrongness of policy.

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>> "raised cholesterol is only a problem if you think it's a problem; it has no known association with real-world outcomes."

Funny story: My Science teacher in HS was fond of taking down a jar of mercury, pouring some out in his palm, and rolling it around in his hand. I believe that he had the same philosophy.

OK, Thank you for an interesting conversation. We should agree to disagree about refined oils and cholesterol while we're still being civil. I do wish you a good, long, and healthy life.

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Consuming coconut oil raises HDL and there is no change in LDL level. Please see the link below:

bbc.co.uk/news/health-42608071

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Hi Jerry

Thanks for this information, which I will hope to look at on the weekend, when I have a bit more time.

Zest :-)

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So true Jerry. I wonder if a lot of people eat for comfort rather than health. 🙂

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Thank you for posting this today, Jerry!😀👍 This is a great article/information for a posting.dealing with Diabetes.

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Totally agree with everyone else. We may disagree on many things but we agree 100% that SAD is so aptly named. Not only that, when I grew up a treat was something that one might eat once a year, now those treats are available and eaten almost daily. Perhaps I exaggerate, but my point still holds.

TAD, thanks for completing the questionnaire. To see the crass stupidity of such advice explains much of why society is in this predicament.

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>> Not only that, when I grew up a treat was something that one might eat once a year, now those treats are available and eaten almost daily.

Right. Right? I'm astounded by the sheer volume of snacks everywhere when I go back to England. The supermarket shelves are groaning with in-between meals, cakes, biscuits, sweet drinks, etc etc.

I don't think the government even realises that the standing advice encourages snacking via two independent mechanisms. One, they explicitly advise people to endlessly top up on carbs "to keep your energy up and your blood sugar stable" (yes, really); two, a diet based on starchy carbs causes hunger a couple of hours after eating, so people are driven to eat these things regardless. And the food manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank.

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Are you talking about processed carbs or carbs from whole foods? Because they are completely different. Natural, whole foods are digested slowly and release their glycemic load gradually. Fiber; it's a great thing!

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Up to a point I agree with you, but the government certainly doesn't. In mainstream nutrition terminology there are no foods. There's only carbs, protein, and fat. The nutritionists argue endlessly about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin because they've discarded 80% of the information about real diets that might inform their debates.

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Then I'm still confused. Maybe you are seeing advice or debates that I'm not seeing? The USDA is actually telling people to go and eat any carbs - sugary cereals, sugar-filled soft drinks, etc. in order to control their insulin levels? And the nutritionists are ok with that? I just haven't been able to verify that.

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Yes. Yes they are. As are most of the mainstream nutrition organisations. While they are not explicitly telling people to consume strawberry milkshake and Mars Bars for good blood sugar control, they draw no distinction between low- and high-GI carbs. They're quite happy for people to eat (say) breakfast cereals, regular cakes and desserts, or white bread, which have a very similar metabolic effect, and they positively encourage "snacking". Here are a couple of quotes from the BDA regarding food for kids:

"Children need regular meals and snacks to get the energy (calories) and goodness or ‘nutrients’ they need ..."

"Offer a savoury and a sweet course at both lunchtime and at the evening meal, so children have a variety of different foods and nutrients."

"Each meal should ... include bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and grains such as couscous or breakfast cereal at main meals and scones, buns, muffins, crumpets or cereal bars for snacks."

And here's some advice for diabetics:

"People with diabetes should eat ... the same as somebody without diabetes." [which presumably means they should carry on eating the same food that gave them diabetes in the first place]

"There's no such thing as a 'diabetic' diet or 'diabetic' recipes."

"Instead of crisps try plain popcorn".

"Instead of milk chocolate try rice cakes".

and possibly one of my favourites:

"Shop-bought pure fruit juice often has all the fibre removed, instead try blending your favourite fruits together yourself. "

Doh.

I'll do a little rant about this sort of thing, because I've just been reading the BDA website with my jaw dragging on the floor.

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Thanks for the articles. Thanks for the articles. I took the quiz and scored 0 on everything except age +9 and high blood pressure +6. All others were 0. I agree with The Toad! It didn’t ask enough questions to give me a risk factor of increased. I’ve had high blood pressure, under control for 35 years. I am vegetarian and it didn’t even ask.

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