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Which diet advice is to be believed?

(405 Posts)
TheDeadlyDonkey Fri 24-May-13 17:09:16

I've started reading John Briffa's Escape the Diet Trap. It makes for very interesting reading, but has made me question the usual run of the mill low fat type diet advice.
If Briffa is to be believed, low fat diets are unsustainable and can contribute to ongoing obesity issues and increasing the risk of diabetes.

I've also recently heard that if milk is to be drunk, full fat milk is better, as the majority of vitamins and minerals are in the fat.

I'm also hearing varying reports on cholesterol, and how it maybe isn't playing the dangerous role that many drs are telling us.

So, after DH's stroke (which wasn't in any way a lifestyle issue) he has been advised to be cautious and cut down on fat and use benecol spread and yoghurt drink (I have read that these aren't good for you, but can't remember where, could have been on here)

So when there is so much conflicting advice, who do you trust? What do you believe?

John Briffa's book is really convincing, quotes trials, uses scientific charts etc, and makes sense.
I myself have struggled with low fat diets, and failed more times than I care to admit.
I am in no way qualified to interpret scientific trial data (along with the majority of the population) and am growing more and more confused about the conflicting advice that is out there.

I'm not really sure what I'm expecting from this thread, but I'm interested to see what others think about this, and who you trust when it comes to diet advice?

BIWI Mon 03-Jun-13 16:50:00

That's great going, Twas!

TwasBrillig Mon 03-Jun-13 14:32:47

I went to bed early, walked in the sun. Now I just want to sleep . . .but need to do things.

TwasBrillig Mon 03-Jun-13 14:31:31

I was trying to wait until Wednesday but weighed myself just before lunch . . Already lost 4 pounds! Its about long term health rather than weight but there's quite a lot of weight to shift. I'm hoping its going to keep falling off . . .

Xenia Sun 02-Jun-13 13:51:57

I'm not down on fruit. I am just down on overeating it. I've said above it is much better for you than processed foods. however those addicted to sugar do often replace sugar with fruit and eat more than is good for them of fruit, that's all. I would encourage everyone to replace junk food with fruit and replace fruit juices with fruit.

yes, I agree with what is being said about sunlight, exercise and getting loads of sleep (although the latter is almost impossible with small children) although by the time they are the age of mine (teenagers) it's much easier to get yourself to bed early. Drink a lot of water too. All those things cost very little - sunshine, moving and sleeping and drinking water.

snoworneahva Sun 02-Jun-13 13:51:29

And staying off sugar has cured my insomnia - which means I get a double benefit - I still eat sugar occasionally though.

TwasBrillig Sun 02-Jun-13 13:29:41

Eating ok so far today, although I had a small piece of bread at lunch as I didn't fancy the potatoes. I've used mfp just to track to get an idea of amounts of things as I've obviously been clueless.

About to go for an afternoon walk somewhere. I could do with increasing exercise though. Always have kids with me so needs planning. Similarly sleep. I'm always exhausted but husband is home a bit more now and baby sleeping a bit better.

Thanks again for this thread! Oh managed to whizz the linseed so put it in the fridge for tomorrow!

ppeatfruit Sun 02-Jun-13 13:18:19

snow A good night's sleep is also very important in giving you the strength to withstand the junk food culture; apparently it also gives you the hormones to feel the 'fullness' when eating. Bit tricky when you've got a L.O. grin.

BigBoobiedBertha Sun 02-Jun-13 11:13:39

Xenia - Why is the fact that stone age man didn't eat fruit regularly even worth mentioning - if we are going back 1 million yrs, we didn't eat anything every day, certainly not meat or fish either. There wouldn't have been 3 meals a day and it would have been very feast or famine (a bit 5:2 really or probably more 4:3)- eat what you can get hold of at the time. Are you going to ration everything else to match the stone age too? How far do you take this - lets all go stone age for fruit but not stone age for meat or veg (also seasonal)? This is why paleo doesn't stack up for me as a concept because that is not how we are really eating is it?

I'm all for eating naturally but we don't live in the stone age - why limit ourselves to the way they ate, which to be fair saw a lot of them undernourished, malnourished and dead before the age of 30. I just don't see as a valid reason to be down on fruit. If you are worried about the sugar, then fine but fruit is so much more than just sugar and certainly more than a slightly better alternative to junk food which is what you seem to be suggesting.

snoworneahva Sun 02-Jun-13 10:18:52

Agree with xenia about getting some sun on your skin - and while your at it, get some exercise - forget about it just being a calorie burner, exercise does so much more for your health, diet is really not enough for a healthy lifestyle.

itsonlysubterfuge Sun 02-Jun-13 10:09:17

twas a pestle and mortar sounds great as you should really only have about 1 heaped tablespoon to begin with. You can eat them whole and they will still be great sources of fiber, but you'll miss out on the omega fatty acids inside the linseeds. For best results you should grind/smash just before eating, rather than buy pre-ground. Watch your digestion with linseeds as too many, too quickly can cause problems (like constpation), especially if you are adding lots of fruits/vegetables/wholegrains to your diet as well. If you have the space, you should keep them in the fridge or in an airtight container away from sunlight because they are high in fat they can go rancid quickly. Also, Xenia is right about calcium, it is absorbed into the body much better when taken with a dose of vitamin D, which is why in the USA they add it into the milk, however the sun is a great source as well, but harder to take with your dairy products. Green leafy vegetables, like kale, are also sources of calcium, if you want to have other sorces besides dairy.

ppeatfruit Sun 02-Jun-13 09:41:53

thenightsky i have just made my breakfast fruit grin smoothie which has added ground linseeds and pumpkin seeds (i grind them freshly in a coffee grinder we keep esp. for grinding spices etc.) It works fine grin. Oh the other thing with linseeds is you need to eat them with a glass of water. According to Liz Earle.

I try not to have milk and Iam very healthy (my teeth aren't even sensitive) Oh and I'm OLD grin it's ok for some people but it gives me bad hay fever symptoms. It's simple for me no dairy; no hay fever.

Xenia Sun 02-Jun-13 09:06:04

I also think that if you get out in the sun for 20 minutes a day with very little on the Vit D you get (and can only really properly get from the sun) helps you absorb calcium better but I cannot remember the exact details. I think calcium and getting enough is more complex than just how much milk do you drink as it is the interaction with other things that matters too.

TwasBrillig Sun 02-Jun-13 08:55:16

Thanks, xenia. Onto day 5.

Xenia Sun 02-Jun-13 08:36:04

Yes, berries you can eat taste sweet normally as the fruit wants you to eat them and then its seeds be spread through your waste products. Bitter things and you might include potato arguably in that and night shade family stuff you have to cook to eat puts you off taking it as they do not spread their seeds through you I suspect. However int he wilds for 1 millions years we would only find fruit in season so we never ate loads of it. Mind you the last thing on the thread we want to do is put people off eating fruit who normally eat lots of junk food. Fruit is better for you than junk food. It is just that some people end up eating a lot of it as it can give you a hit like sugar if you have given up sugar and still are kind of addicted to that quick hit or high and that may mean you eat so much fruit you are not eating a more balanced diet.

Twas - certainly ( re calcium). That sounds fine. There is even calcium in products like spinach.

TwasBrillig Sun 02-Jun-13 00:19:57

Oops. Already got actual seeds. I've got a hand held processor I use for soup I could try. Or somewhere I have a pestle and mortar.

thenightsky Sun 02-Jun-13 00:16:08

~Twas... buy ready milled Linseed (flaxseed). It is impossible to break it up in a processor as the seeds are too little.

TwasBrillig Sun 02-Jun-13 00:13:16

Itsonly -I read something about that. How do you do it? Bash with a rolling pin or completely whizz with a processor?

Also any idea how much I'm supposed to put on?! The lady I saw last week mentioned adding them but not how much!

itsonlysubterfuge Sat 01-Jun-13 22:36:32

The way I was taught is simple and complex carbohydrates. The simple carbohydrates are sugar and the complex carbohydrates are starches. If you read the back of a nutrition label it says total carbohydrates, then lists of which is sugar. These numbers are often different. I guess you could technically call them both sugars as they are mono/polysaccharides, but I feel this is going too in depth for the purposes of this conversation. The point being that carbohydrates are digested differently depending on their compounds. Sugars being easily digested and turned rapidily into short bursts of energy, starches taking longer to digest and giving a longer more sustainable energy source.

As far as being programed to like sweet thing, as I mentioned before it is merely a theory. My proof being that the first food we are introduced to is very sweet (breastmilk). The fact that we are able to taste flavors at all, there is obviously a reason for this. One of the main reasons I have heard is that poisonious materials are often bitter/sour while things that are good to eat are sweet. So we developed taste buds to help us survive. Our bodies easily digest most sweet things and they are great forms of energy.

Brushing your teeth straight after eating may not be advisable, however brushing your teeth after eating is. The longer you let food sit on your teeth, the worse off they will be. Which is why dentists often say that crisps are actually worse for your teeth rather than lets say a soda because the soda barely touches your teeth, while crisps sit on your teeth for a long time.

twas Make sure you break open your linseeds before eating, as our bodies have a very hard time digesting the hard outside. Also, be careful how many you eat, they can give you stomach problems if you eat too many, too quickly because they are very full of fiber.

exoticfruits Sat 01-Jun-13 22:28:06

You just have to change your eating habits for life, instead of thinking about it as a temporary thing.

TwasBrillig Sat 01-Jun-13 22:03:44

I've just completed day 4 of no processed food and feeling good. Will make falafel tomorrow. I've stopped eating cheese daily - if I have a portion of yoghurt, and milk in my porridge is that enough calcium? I've bought some linseed for tomorrow morning.

Really good point xenia. It may be an obvious one but I need to hear I I can be very 'all or nothing' and when I start something I want it to be perfect straight away. I.!! My previous diet was awful but I thought it was ok as I never bought ready meals. I've changed overnight almost but I need to encourage myself with the good that I am doing, red it as an ongoing learning process etc rather than worrying too much. Real food is already a step up from my cheese and cracker, digestives and shreddies diet!

Xenia Sat 01-Jun-13 21:55:58

I think it's important realise this is all very simple - eat unprocessed foods and you will be fine. Don't worry about whether you should have dairy, carbs, meat or just a vegan diet. Don't think gosh it's so hard I might as well eat chocolate all day. These nuances don't matter,.

You can get all the vitamins you need from veg and that is better than fruit but fruit is much better for you than junk food. So if like some fruit have it although masses of it is just sugar and it might be stopping you eating enough protein and other things you need if you major on the fruit too much.

snoworneahva Sat 01-Jun-13 21:35:49

Your tooth enamel is softer immediately drinking fruit juice, brushing your teeth immediately after drinking fruit juice can cause erosion of tooth enamel.

BIWI Sat 01-Jun-13 20:38:55

So, itsonlysubterfuge - what are the two types of carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates do equal sugar.

Why are we programmed to enjoy sweet things? What proof do you have of that?

And did you know that if you brush your teeth within 15 minutes of eating something acidic, you would actually harm your enamel, because it has been softened by the acid?

Unless you have any proof for the assertions you have made, you are very wrong.

itsonlysubterfuge Sat 01-Jun-13 20:21:07

Carbs are not only sugar. There are two types of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates does not equal sugar.

We are programmed as human beings to enjoy sweet things, of course this is merely a theory. Which is why we enjoy them so much. We have taste buds for a reason, we like things like fruit because they are good for us and contains vitamins and minerals and aren't typically poisonous. As far as dentistry is concerned, the simple and easy solution is to brush your teeth after consuming anything, if you are very worried about your teeth.

Also, if anyone enjoys cooking programs and would like to learn more about food, I find Alton Brown's show, Good Eats, a informative and fun show to watch. He combines cooking with science and actually gives you a lot of information on the particular food he's doing a special about.

snoworneahva Sat 01-Jun-13 20:02:01

You can eat fruit after a meal and limit the dental impact by allowing the acidity in your mouth to fall between meals - constant snacking is not good for your teeth.

Anyone else feel stifled by the food police, too much trying to have a healthy diet and listening to too much dogma brings out my rebellious side. I had the most wonderful honey and nutmeg homemade ice cream today and it was worth every single joyous calorie - it made me grin from ear to ear, I wanted to run into the kitchen and hug the pastry chef! Giving up sugar forever is not something I want to do - cake and eat it - that's what I want! grin

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