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What we really should be eating

(16 Posts)
rumple Wed 17-Aug-11 23:52:01

Thought some people might be interested in this lecture given by Zoe Harcombe on what really is a healthy diet and what has caused our obesity epidemic.

Have no conflict of interest to declare only that I've lost a stone and am now down to a health weight eating this way.

In answer to another thread we should be eating butter and loads of it, not margarine!

muttimalzwei Thu 18-Aug-11 00:02:21

Her diet is so healthy and easy. Have lost just over a stone in 6 weeks. It should be the recommended way to eat

cartblanche Thu 18-Aug-11 00:29:42

Interesting. I just started watching this but realised it was too late at night for the concentration levels required! I have been trying THD for over 18 months now and have had success and failure - in the usual way that ALL diets have success and failure (you stick to it and succeed or you don't and fail!).

I will come back to this tomorrow but will say this now. I am glad a post has been made on Mumsnet because in all the time that I have spent on visiting THD forum I have felt restricted in what I want to say. The forum, in its very noble attempts to be supportive and upbeat, tends to crush ANY negativity. I feel the forum suffers as a result. My personal journey on THD seem to differ from the bulk experience. The usual experience seemed to be "felt bad for a few days then felt brilliant!", "got rid of my cravings in 5 days!", "don't miss ANYTHING about how I ate before". Now I know that this was the genuine experience of many people but it wasn't mine and I can't believe that it wasn't the genuine experience of others. Don't get me wrong, I am not dissing THD I just want to say that if you want this diet to have creedence in a real world you have to take along people with you that aren't having the text book experience. I have just got the book "The Obesity Epidemic" too and am wading through it. It is not an easy read but I can feel the passion behind it and I think I believe in the science behind it - the trouble is, that I don't totally understand the science behind it! I think the crux of the matter is that Zoe Harcombe genuinely feels we have been duped by the supposed "science" of nutrition. Her personal crusade is to try and disprove all the "Science" from the past as misjudgement, misinformation or plain lies (big pharma and interested parties contributing to this in a big way). Unfortunately, the main stumbling block is that people who are wanting to lose weight don't want to involve themselves in the Big Science - they just want a quick fix or an easy to understand gimmick (points, syns etc...)

I really hope a bit of dialogue happens on Mumsnet about THD because I feel there is some sound, revolutionary sense behind it and this is a good place for it to be discussed. Don't be afraid of debate and dissent though!

rumple Thu 18-Aug-11 11:09:21

I think losing weight is just a small part of the bigger picture. Zoe Harcombe got into the nutritional debate for weight loss reasons but she is part of a growing movement of people that are trying to highlight the fact that diseases of the modern world all have their roots in our radical change in diet since modernization.

Everyone thin or fat, young or old need to look at how much processed food and sugar we eat these days and how it is the underlying cause for the increase in diabetes, Alzheimers, heart disease, asthma, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke....the list goes on. Just because you might be slim you can still be effected by all these conditions. The amount of sugar our children eat now a days for example at children's parties I feel is madness (I'm not advocating banning birthday cakes just the 30 other foods served - even the sausages will more than likely have sugar in them). Just because your child might be slim doesn't mean you are not harming their health by giving them sugar.

I really like the science bits I'm afraid and I think the more you read and look into it the more simple and obvious it all becomes.
I would agree with you that in Zoe's lecture because she's a Maths grad she like numbers and does throw a lot of figures at you especially at the start (it's the same in the book) which could put some people off but I don't think there is much high level science in it that the general public couldn't handle.

In defense of her diet forum I feel it's supplies a supportive encouraging environment for weight loss which without local clubs (although a few have started up) is really valuable to people. You are also preaching to the converted there as most people on it agree with her argument. You are right here mumsnet's remit is much wider than a self help forum and at times because of this can become quite combative so I'm glad the THD forum is not like that.

I also wouldn't want it to look like she's a lone voice out there full of conspiracy theories she is not the only one. I am very much up for voicing debate and dissent but would urge people to read, listen and research as much as possible. As sometimes happens the ones that shout the loudest aren't always the best informed.

Some books and links I can really recommend:

The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It by Gary Taubes

Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You by Uffe Ravnskov
this a summary of his bigger book

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

an article by an American Cardiologist

Real food by Nina Planck

Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate by Felicity Lawrence
Eat Your Heart Out: by Felicity Lawrence

cartblanche Thu 18-Aug-11 23:54:59

Oh Rumble please don't apologise for "liking the science"! I LIKE the science but am not a scientist however I feel with proper explanation I can maybe understand the science! I think you would admit that the forum is quite small when compared to Mumsnet. And then within that forum there are those who have fined down THD to a WOE that isn't in Zoe's book. Please don't take this as a criticism of the diet but it is a criticism of the forum that the narrower the methods of its main proponents, the narrower the take up of new people ERGO someone who now eats NO carbs No dairy No grains is quite an exceptional being!

Let me say that I can do THD and be very successful on the main principals of not mixing and not eating crap. And I think this is where we agree that Zoe's main message is "Don't eat processed food"! But I don't think cheese on toast is processed, I don't think a bacon sandwich is processed (because we are encouraged to eat Sooooo much bacon and sausage stuff!) but this is the stuff that I have a struggle with.

I have to say this ( and I know this WILL annoy!) but the other day someone said that they had NEVER cheated and that the people they had started with on THD had NEVER cheated and this was the person that had been enticing and salivating over the charms of dark chocolate! I think this is the main falling down of THD - people have reached for the chocolate prematurely! I cetainly have - I feel that I have gone from a phase 1 to a phase 3. And then I go back to a REALLY STRICT p1 and then a P1.5 and then P3 never comes!

ALL I want you to know Rumble is that I am not a cynic, and I think in the main I agree with it but I still find it uncomfortable when someone who is trying to trim themselves down from 8stone and a half to 7 stone and a half is having a TOTALLY different weight loss experience to someone who is coming to THD from a weight of 18 stone, I am not saying that this diet doesn't suit either but I am just saying that you need to acknowledge the "difficulties" that the latter person has. I can eat THD but I can still miss a salmon and cream cheese bagel. There are some people who now eat only meat and mince and a few seeds and nuts who say that they DON'T miss any other food. I think that is extreme but it is in being put forward as the NORMAL face of THD and this is where I think Zoe's whole programme might come a cropper. That would be a shame because i think that what Zoe is saying makes sense and is true.

Shaxx Fri 19-Aug-11 14:47:53

Thanks for linking this.
Its really interesting.
I'm sure its obvious to most of us that junk food is really bad for us but it was interesting to see how the companies push the products.

I've been thinking about this for a while but I'm definitely going to banish processed food from my house after watching that.

Back to baking bread and biscuits at home smile

Shaxx Fri 19-Aug-11 14:49:38

Er the bread and biscuits are for the kids and not me who should be following her weight loss diet....

AlderTree Sun 21-Aug-11 19:50:37

Like what this lady says in that she is right about the rubbish food available and that we should eat real food. I spent two hours (including interuptions to put dolly clothes on and set up outdoor toys for the dc's) watching/listening to the link given to the conference. All set to rethink my family food.

I've just googled the lady and I have to think she has sold out by giving the mirror a 5 day bikini blitz diet to loose weight before your hols. Yet her whole theory is based on the premise diets don't work and carbs are evil. Though rice is allowed and potatoes are not - potoatos grow in the ground!
In fact I have some in my garden. So I say they are real food. As is bread which our ancestors have been eating for eons of time. But flour is seemingly also evil.

I loved the science and the diet myths and those shocking links with all those big gun food companies. LIke most plans e.g. food combining, atkins etc I guess it works for some. Possibly not for me though I am still going to try to increase the real food compared to the junk stuff.

Shaxx Sun 21-Aug-11 20:50:59

I agree with you AlderTree.
I will admit that I did skip bits so may have miss this but why does she dismiss fruit? I don't agree with that and one or two peices of fruit a day should be fine.
I think almost all races eat fruit and have some form of bread.

I have done her diet before (the mirror one) and, very much like on any high protein diet, you get constipated. That can't be natural. It did work though!

I totally agree with getting back to real food.

We made our own bread, raisin buns (thanks to breadmaker) and biscuits in the last few days and really it wasn't much effort at all and the kids have enjoyed it. I include home made baked goods as real food grin

rumple Mon 22-Aug-11 18:48:14

Don't know about the diet in the Mirror but the basic premise of her diet book is no sugar, no processed foods and to eat carbs separately from fats (leave 3-4hrs between a fat meal and a carb meal). So you are allowed bread, potatoes and fruit just not eaten with fat. Most fruits (apart from berries which are low carb) are carbs.
Eating carbs produces insulin and it's insulin that makes you store fat. The diet isnt low carb or high protein necessarily you control how many carb meals you have. I personally found lots of natural fats helped me loose so I was by default lower carb.
I think her main bug bare with fruit is it can feed over growth of candida and so cause carb cravings. I have been eating more fruit while visiting relatives the other week and my cravings which have been gone for 6 months returned and If the restaurant had still been open that pear and almond tart with homemade ice cream would have been mine!

rumple Mon 22-Aug-11 19:17:59

Ps when she says diets dont work she is talking about diets based on cutting calories and trying to create a deficit I.e. Slimming world, weight watchers all the big ones. The problem with reducing calories is it makes the body hungry and more sedetary. And if you do manage to restrict your calories enough to lose it is unsustainable and when you resume a normal amount of calories you gain ( and often then some).
That's why I'm a big fan of the diet because I pretty much lost all my cravings (that's a big deal for me as I have always had a sweet tooth and would regularly eat 3-4 chocolate bars in a row pre period) lost weight but not gone hungry (theres no portion control needed) and with none of the sugar lows where I'd come home and devour anything in the fridge I was so hungry.
I believe the weight I lost was just my body normalising to it's natural weight. Eating real food is good for every one. If sugar is limited and lots of natural fats eaten it should help thin people gain to normalise at a healthy weight too.

rumple Mon 22-Aug-11 20:24:32

Cartblanche I kind of agree. When I first went on the forum I really didn't think I'd ever not want cake and I couldn't relate to what every one was saying about loving this way of eating, finding puddings too sugary (I don't think that'll ever happen for me). I still want to get to a point where I can go out and enjoy anything on the menu and not worry about bloating tummy from food intolerences but I have at least now got to the point where I can look at a chocolate cake and think yeh would probably be nice but the bells and whistles no longer go off in my head - which is so nice. I started this in Sept 2010 so it's taken a while to get to this point and I have been pretty strict combined with young kids so it's coincided with a time in my life when my social life is limited and it's easier.
I also agree about the dark chocolate. I never have it because although it less there's still sugar in it and it will just bring back my cravings.
I really hope you will post again on there and raise this issue as I think you may be surprised by the number of people that respond that don't normally. There was a thread started recently on a similar theme 'not many 'big' people on here is there? were you once?' unless that was you? smile
Fingers crossed it doesn't put off the main stream.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Aug-11 13:13:17

rumple i have just watched Zoe Harcombe thanks for the link!! she is SOOOO right (not sure about her views on fruit though which i eat organically or not sprayed) I''ve always followed my own instincts and not allowed the huge conglomerates to "show " me the way to eat.I am 60 have no arthritis or any other illnesses.

She didn't mention Dr. Peter D'Adamo who writes the Eat for Your Blood Type books IMO she would be interested because he cites research to show that we are all different so some of us O types are great with grass fed meats and fish and bad with carbs. i'm an A type and am good with some carbs and fish. It's worth taking a look for anyone who is really interested in how we should eat.

rumple Mon 05-Sep-11 18:14:25

I think there is much discussion on how much sugar and of what type. Some say none some say only naturally produced (I would lean towards the man made sugars being the real danger).

I am a bit wary of the blood typing diet as I haven't read any scientific research saying why it works, I'm not saying it doesn't work I'd just like to know why if so.

This is a link to a lecture by Gary Taubes. It's a good summary of his book 'Good Calories Bad Calories' (called 'The Diet Delusion' here in the UK).
It's long at well over an hour and still doesn't cover everything but it's alot shorter than his (brilliant) 460 pages.

ppeatfruit Tue 06-Sep-11 16:12:04

I've got the Blood type Encyclopedia and there's plenty of science in it. It works because Dr Peter D'Adamo's father was a nutritionist in the 50s who treated all his patients in a residential clinic with the same vegetarian diet; he noted that while a lot of them got better also a fair number did not and he thought it might have something to do with their blood types he wasn't sure.

His son has taken the hypothesis and proved it by testing foods with each blood type It's actually amazing because he includes lists of foods; beneficial, neutral and avoids for each blood type and my body knew which foods it wasn't happy with before I read the list for A types e.g. I 've always hated red meat and it's an avoid as are bananas which have generally given me heartburn. I could go on and on but I won't suffice to say i have no health probs. now as i said in my previous post (I used to have eczema and mild arthritis and after stopping eating tomatoes and oranges I have none at all).

I take what works for me from the many eating plans and ideas I have read and tried over the years IMO there isn't one ultimate one.

wicketkeeper Tue 06-Sep-11 22:45:08

Just watched the presentation in it's entirety. All my life I believed I've never had to diet - turns out I've been on a diet all my life. Whole grains, real meat, real butter, loads of fruit and veg, no processed foods, no fizzy pop, very little tinned or frozen food - there are whole aisles at the supermarket that I don't bother going down. (I'm 5'8" and 9 stone)

I am however baffled by her total dismissal of fruit. She makes no real argument for dismissing it, other than saying something about pesticides and shuddering. I know pesticides is an issue - but it's also an issue with veg, and she's OK with veg. I wash fruit if I'm going to eat the skin, buy organic if it's available - surely it's better to eat it than not?? Is there anyone out there who can explain?

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