Diet saboteurs: refined carbohydrates and sugar

Prof David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, says that all calories are not created equal.

"It's extremely naive of the public and the medical profession to imagine that a calorie of bread, a calorie of meat and a calorie of alcohol are all dealt in the same way by the amazingly complex systems of the body. The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern scientific evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits."

Excellent article in the Guardian:

guardian.co.uk/commentisfre...

6 Replies

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  • Thank you for this link. It explains quite a few things, and of course we are all different and therefore deal with foods differently I expect.

  • Is everything processed bad for you? I know trans fats are bad too, but should we be avoiding anything that isn't "straight from the soil"?

  • The main point about processed food is that you have no control over what goes in the production process.

    That means you may - unless you read food labels carefully - end up eating food that is high is high in salt, sugar and/or fat.

    I wouldn't think of all processed food as being bad (bread is a process food). But some are healthier than others for sure.

    If you're trying to lose weight, you need to be on the ball when it comes to understanding portion size and food labels.

  • One of the big problems, in my view, is that food manufacturers usually work down to a price.

    For example, the increased amount of fructose that appears in so very many foods and drinks as a sweetener. Fructose, rather than other sugars, because it is comparatively cheap.

    However, it would seem our bodies just weren't designed to process all this fructose, especially without the fibre and oher nutrients from the fruits that we would expect to find it in.

    Fructose (fruit sugar) isn't metabolised by our bodies in the same way as glucose and there is an increasing body of opinion that its ever increasing presence in foodstuffs in the US had significantly contributed to the US obesity 'epidemic' and may contibute to other health issues.

    Unfortunately, in the UK, food packaging just states 'sugar' and does not usually specify if the sugar is glucose, fructose or whatever. So it's not easy to avoid if you eat processed foods or buy 'off the shelf' sweetened drinks. And 'table sugar' is 50/50 glucose/fructose.

    Personally, I'm of the view that the current proposal of taxing sugary drinks should actually be focussed at food and drinks that contain fructose. .

    By the way I read that some countries - in South America if I remember rightly - don't allow the sale of fructose based Coke (and presumably other such fizzy sweet drinks), but demand they sell only a non-fructose based product.

    Finally, it's worth remembering that sugar was once a luxury that only the very richest could afford. Ordinary people sweetened foods with honey.

  • Dr Pierre Dukan explains all this pretty well, and it makes a lot of sense.

  • Personally, I'd feel a lot happier if they would ban the use of aspartame as a sweetener. I always find that, if I have inadvertently consumed any, I have a tendency to want more of whatever it was in. In short; it appears to have an addictive effect on me. Mind you; so do carbs generally. :>(

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