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Channel 4 Food Unwrapped Diet Special

I watched the following Channel 4 program yesterday.


I thought the most interesting part was the comments from doctors challenging the government advice to recommend low fat diets that generally result in foods that are high in carbohydrates, especially sugars.

I have found it easier to loose weight when I try limiting the amount of refined carbohydrates in my diet such as sugars and white flour. I have replaced low fat fruit yoghurt (some tubs have 20g of sugar in them!) with full fat yoghurt and fresh fruit, which I find that a lot more satisfying.

The example of the fat-berg in drains was a new way of illustrating the complexities of how the body handles food. Michael Moseley did a similar experiment on another BBC program that showed that most of the fat from dairy products such as yoghurt are not absorbed by our bodies....

This is the similar to the flawed research leading to the advice regarding Cholesterol. Just because eggs and prawns are high in Cholesterol does not mean they should be avoided as the cholesterol does not get easily transferred to the blood. The body can make cholesterol much more easily from excess sugars. The American authorities have only this year finally changed their advice on this.


9 Replies

Hi, many thanks for posting that - it lead me to the actual recommendations and a very useful four page 'at a glance' overview. It would appear to be much in line with the current UK and French guidelines. (more dairy in the French - quelle surprise!)

Healthy eating patterns include nutrient-dense forms of:

• A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other vegetables

• Fruits, especially whole fruits

• Grains, at least half of which are whole grains

• Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages

• A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds

• Oils, including those from plants (canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower) and oils that are naturally present in

foods (nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados)

Note that these foods are only nutrient dense if they’re prepared with little or no added solid fats, sugars, refined starches, and sodium.

(quoted from page two of the guidelines)



I agree that we should have a 'balanced' diet to ensure that we get all of the important nutrients.

However, I think the advice on fat free dairy may not be based on best research. Just because you eat fat, does not mean you become fat. Fat in meals ensures the food tastes better and you don't need to add as much sugar/salt. It also helps with staying fuller for longer so would generally help you avoid unhealthy snacks and help with weight loss.

I am also experimenting with reducing my consumption of carbohydrates such as pasta/rice. So instead of pasta I used my spiraliser to make a courgette 'spaghetti'. I am also introducing cabbage in my diet as it is a dense 'filling' vegetable useful for substituting potatoes. Yesterday I enjoyed Okonomiyaki from following recipe:



Thanks for that link I have a veggie plot full of cabbage, kale and collards (my favourite) I'll pass on the recipes to the 'cook' (I don't do kitchen) :) I grow huge qualities of jerusalem artichokes which I find go well with greens if you're not eating (or are cutting down on) potatoes.

The advice above is from the latest US dietary guidelines 2015-2020 - the one you mentioned in your original post. The quote below is from the full report (not the four page guidelines mentioned above)

Considerations: As discussed in Chapter 2, the main sources of saturated fats in the U.S. diet include mixed dishes containing cheese, meat, or both, such as burgers, sandwiches, and tacos; pizza; rice, pasta, and grain dishes; and meat, poultry, and seafood dishes. Although some saturated fats are inherent in foods, others are added. Healthy eating patterns can accommodate nutrient-dense foods with small amounts of saturated fats, as long as calories from saturated fats do not exceed 10 percent per day, intake of total fats remains within the AMDR, and total calorie intake remains within limits. When possible, foods high in saturated fats should be replaced with foods high in unsaturated fats, and other choices to reduce solid fats should be made (see Chapter 2).

To me that reads saturated fats in junk foods should be avoided but some hard cheese is OK. I find the whole area of nutrition a minefield there are way too many lobby groups/vested interests/ involved. I now eat like my Granny did everything from scratch and where possible from my own garden/hens- easy when you have a cook :) I'm hoping I can emulate her 93 years on planet earth!


I've been following the 'harcombe diet' which is basically.. cut out sugar & carbs and you will lose weight... And it works... it's hard to get your head around it but i now cook with butter & lard which I used to avoid thinking the veg oil & spray oils were better for me only to find out if was wrong and the butter tastes so much better.

I've been following a healthy eating plan since the middle of October but didnt lose any weight even though I was exercising almost every day. I started harcombe way of eating at start of December and lost 5.5lbs in the first week..... I had blood tests recently to check why my blood pressure was high. (it's been up for a long time)... anyway all my blood tests came back normal so this way of eating is not having a bad effect on me but the raised bp is genetic and I'm now on bp tablets.

I didn't religiously stick to the plan over the 2 weeks at Xmas but i only put on 0.4kgs between 19/12 - 2/1.. which I can live with !

This is the 1st time I've felt really positive about a diet as the weight is coming off and I can still eat nice food that I enjoy. Im only at the start of my journey but have lost 4kgs now and Im aiming for another 3kgs by the end of January.

This is what i ate yesterday...

Breakfast.. scrambled eggs (made with cream)

Dinner - Large Ham & cheese Salad with creamy coleslaw.

Tea - Belly pork slices with ratatouille.

I don't tend to need snacks as I'm full up with my meals !

Sorry it's such a long post but I am a firm believer that 'fat' doesn't make you 'Fat' if you eat them with the right things.


Great news to me I'm just starting this approach and its only the first couple of days, but I truely don't feel hungry and my cab craving is bread /pastry's/pizza have all but gone. I was also interested in the 16:8 idea of eating, giving your body chance to rest. If this works it would be great for me because otherwise I can eat all day everyday. I have also upped my exercise via walking and Zumba gold. So will keep you posted, thanks for article x


yeah 16:8 is a good thing as well. I've tried IF in the past but foolishly thought I could eat what I liked which obviously I couldn't!!

But might give it a try combined with harcombe if the weight loss slows down and I need a bit of a boost.

I did Zumba last night & straight after i did a kettlebell class for weights.... love it !!

Good luck with starting your diet x


Currently reading Michael Mosley's Fast Exercise book for HIT training, only just started reading it but very interesting.

Forum member Concerned puts on a lot of posts about low fat/ high sugar as opposed to natural fats makes you realise how hood winked we can be concerning the low cal/low fat etc way we have been made to believe it will help weight loss. It's not just about calories to loose weight but good calories to maintain bodily functions.


yep... it's a completely new way of thinking for me cos on the programme it said low fat thinking was brought in about 30years ago and thinking back I think I started my 1st diet at around that time aged 16ish.... it's no wonder I've been on a diet my whole life !!


Me too but at least we are learning now. I am going to watch the programme on catch up as I missed it last night.

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