Category Archives: fat

Backlash after report claims saturated fats do not increase heart risk?

butterI remember the very first course I ran in 2003: a lady being openly criticised by her work colleagues for following my advice to snack on nuts instead of a 2-finger KitKat (as advocated by WW) and losing 11 lbs in 3 weeks – she showed them!!

But the serious point is we’ve been bucking the trend for 14 years because we bother to do our research, and then implement the findings of the best quality trials and studies without delay – to the benefit of our clients. Nothing that we teach or advise is anything odd, or made up for commercial purposes. We advised good fats and nuts in 2003. We talked about inflammation way before it was a trendy thing to do. We have said sugar and excessive carbs are a big problem for over 14 years. I’ve watched the mainstream advice slowly coming round to our way of nutritional thinking in recent years. While it’s great that they are finally catching up – because that means people are generally getting better advice – I can’t help but think of all the people who have been given the wrong advice for decades, and the effects that wrong advice will inevitably have had on the health of so many.

It’s with a level of sadness, therefore, that I read about this “backlash” today. Here in this article we can see the “establishment” putting up their barriers, and spinning their defence of old views.

When doctors and scientists speak out against the mainstream they surely know there will be a backlash. The precedence is there! In the 1970s John Rudkin published “Pure White and Deadly”. His message was clear. Sugar is the problem. The establishment denied this for 40 odd years, first having discredited Rudkin! We now know we’ve been let down by that same establishment. Doctor James Le Fanu pointed this out in no uncertain terms in his column in the Telegraph just a few days ago.

Putting their heads above the parapet invites castigation. Therefore, when highly qualified professionals speak out regardless, it’s time to listen.

The words that have sparked the controversy are innocent enough:

“[key previous research] showed no association between saturated fat consumption and all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, CHD mortality, ischaemic stroke or type-2 diabetes in healthy adults”.

This message does not suggest we can eat saturated fats with impugnity. It does not suggest we advise people to eat a “high fat” diet. Yet the tone of its critics alludes to this.

So, the Rebalance advice on fats? NO trans or hydrogenated fats under any circumstances; saturated fats are nothing to worry about in moderation (we’re not advocating a “high fat” diet); watch your balance between anti-inflammatory omega-3 and pro-inflammatory omega-6 (many vegetable oils have the wrong balance – sunflower, rapeseed contain more omega 6 than 3); olive oil is good!

Losing weight on 3300 calories per. day – yes really!

Let me tell you a little about my new client’s weight loss. After just 2 weeks on a Rebalance programme, he’s lost 5lbs, has literally had to tighten his belt, and feels great. Here’s the best bit…he’s eating 3300 calories per. day!

It’s not – and never has been – about calories. It’s about what those calories are made of – and always has been.

Fad diets come and go. I read this morning that the 5:2 Fasting Diet is trying to re-enthuse dieters by offering 200 calories per. day more. All those poor folks who have restricted themselves to just 600 calories for 2 days per. week, are now being told they could have achieved the same benefits on 800 calories, according to this report. Dr. Mosley, the chap advocating this joyless approach for some 5 years now, admits it makes people feel cranky and irritable, and that, actually, he’s been wrong about just how restrictive a diet needs to be.

The problem with fasting, and long term calorie restriction is that it puts your body into a “starvation mode” that makes it hang on to fat. Have you tried to diet and found by week 3 or 4 it gets harder and harder to shift just a little weight? The fallacy of fasting is made clear in a new study at the University of Sydney in Australia. The research team confirms:

“Having a few ‘days off’ from a diet can help stop your body from going into starvation mode, where the body slows down its natural burning of kilojoules, desperate to survive what it believes to be a famine.”

So if 600, or even 800, calories are too restrictive to enable someone to lose weight without finding themselves entering into starvation mode, how many calories are right? There is no single answer to that. MemeThe number of calories right for an individual is the number of calories right for that person! There is no-one-size-fits-all where nutrition is concerned. This is where Rebalance excels. We help you identify your own unique needs, and develop your own unique eating plan to meet those needs. Every time someone does this properly it works – that’s 100%. My client’s body requires 3300 calories per. day: this avoids starvation mode; delivers all his nutritional needs; encourages his body to release 2 lbs of fat per. week consistently. How many calories are right for YOU?

Click here, and start working it out. Our programmes work, are easy to follow, and are free to you.

Obesity – who deserves the blame?

einstein

After Susan Jebb, the Government’s former diet tsar, said obesity is mainly caused by a person’s genes and the prevalence of junk food, other experts have hit out saying fat people should be told their size is their own fault. So just who SHOULD carry the blame for your obesity, asks a news article this weekend?

It comes down to the difference between ignorance and insanity.

It’s true that the food industry, Public Health, and the NHS in the UK have all mislead the public for years. Sadly knowingly for some time too. They ALL sold us the “low-fat myth” for decades. They ALL overlooked the fact that there was no real evidence against saturated fat. They ALL overlooked the weight of evidence against sugar for 40 years.

We became a fat nation! And I say obesity was encouraged because the organisations who should have protected us kept us in IGNORANCE. Ignorance about why we were really gaining weight. Ignorance about why  a whole host of chronic diseases have been burgeoning. Ignorance about the “unrelenting march” of diabetes reported last week.

But we know now! We know sugar is deadly. We know it has raised our levels of inflammatory disease to crisis point: diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, some cancers and more. And we can no longer claim ignorance. We can no longer claim to being kept in the dark.

The food industry is showing very little sign of change. In the many months now since we lifted the lid on the nonsense that is “low-fat”, I’ve watched in near despair as more and more fat-free and low-fat products have been unleashed into the market-place – still claiming health-benefits. It sucks, it really does. But we are no longer ignorant to the truth. We can shake our heads in disbelief that they care so little. But we no longer have to fall for their dishonest hype!

I started speaking out against low fat as long ago as 2003 – and I have never knowingly put a low-fat-sugar-laden version of food into my body since. But I still do occasionally eat something with added sugar: a bite of chocolate, a slice of birthday cake, the occasional dessert maybe. And every time I do I know, and accept, that my behaviour is INSANE. Insane because there is enough information to enable me to make a better choice. Insane because I have enough knowledge to enable me to make a better choice. Sometimes I make insane choices, but I have to face the fact they are MINE!

I am at the point of awareness that any weight gain is certainly now my own fault, and I carry 100% responsibility.

Historically Susan Jebb is right – the past 40 years have largely been not our fault. But from here on in we are all responsible for our own food choices – as these experts suggest! And only when we accept our own responsibility, embrace our own dietary and behavioural change, take control over our own choices will things improve.

RebalanceDiabetes is ready and waiting to help anyone willing to help themselves. Give me a shout!

 

 

 

Why you really need to think twice about bariatric surgery

imagesAre you still seeing reports that tell you gastric bands and bypasses are THE answer to obesity and Type 2 diabetes? OK so let’s talk about what the usual reports don’t tell you…

Already longer term problems are becoming known – and it’s a mystery why these things are ignored when the supposed benefits are heralded in the press and media.

Gastric surgery is far from being the life-long solution it is promised to be. Here are my top three reasons to think twice before diving onto the operating table:

The weight loss doesn’t last.

For at least a decade it’s been known that weight loss may be temporary. Bariatric Surgery Source – a comprehensive weight loss surgery resource – says:

“Weight gain after gastric bypass surgery is not guaranteed, but there’s a good chance that it will occur to some extent.” 

That “extent” was quantified in a press article a full 3 years ago – “a third of gastric surgery patients put ALL the weight back on” it was reported.

It is linked with greater risk of suicide.

The let-down of this reality has serious emotional impact. It has recently emerged that people who have had gastric surgery are more likely to go on to commit suicide – significantly after the initial weight loss period wains. Thankfully, this vital information WAS widely reported:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/852616

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/20151007/suicide-risk-may-rise-for-some-after-weight-loss-surgery?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23297762

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3263730/The-dark-weight-loss-surgery-People-operation-4-times-likely-commit-suicide-twice-likely-self-harm.html

You WILL have to manage life-long nutritional deficiencies.

What I have never seen reported is that ALL bariatric surgeries lead to nutritional deficiencies. Some procedures have worse effects than others, but it is the case that patients require nutritional supplements for life.

If you’re thinking that’s a small price to pay, please think again. I’ve shared often before in my various posts that supplementation isn’t the best way to nourish your body. For a start, nutrients are more bioavailable from food compared to pills and potions – that means your body will take up nutrients from food so much more readily than from a supplement. Then there’s the fact that high potency supplements have been shown in clinical trials to be harmful – sometimes the harm clearly outweighs benefit. The full extent of this risk was highlighted last week in a shocking report revealing that thousands of medical emergencies in the US are directly caused by nutritional supplements.

How can it be then that on the one-hand the medical profession bemoan the dangers of nutritional supplements, calling for tighter controls, but on the other hand happily hail a type of surgery that means life-long supplementation is inevitable? I don’t get it. And I’m sure Hippocrates wouldn’t have got it either.

The RebalanceDiabetes approach stands head and shoulders above the others – food first! Food before surgery. Food before supplementation. It doesn’t rely meal replacement shakes, bars and pills. And it never will!

To find out more visit www.rebalancediabetes.com

Why would a 3 year old develop Type 2 diabetes?

chihood obesityA few days ago the world was aghast at the story of a 3 year old Texan toddler developing Type 2 diabetes. The newspapers, TV, radio and social media channels all carried the story.

This quote, in an article in The Independent, left me bemused:

Experts who reviewed the girl’s diet found “poor family nutritional habits with uncontrolled counting of calories and fat”.

Nowhere in this article was there any criticism of dietary sugar being a causal factor – just “calories” and “fat”. Surely there is enough evidence available now for us all to realise that the biggest dietary culprit for obesity amongst young children is sugar or refined carbs that the body can quickly turn into sugar. Yet this article lets the pure white and deadly stuff totally off the hook.

This story, sadly, isn’t isolated. In January this year we saw similar cases of Scottish children as young as 4 years of age also being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The article carried in The Scotsman newspaper at the time also failed to discuss the role of sugar in relation to these children.

The media has a responsibility to keep up the pressure on sugar. Powerful lobbyists will be doing their best to downplay the role of sugar in the burgeoning obesity and diabetes crises, but for the sake of such young children we have to make sure the finger is well and truly pointed in the right direction. At sugar.

There is enough evidence now to back up the notion that added sugars should be a real focus for change: not just obvious sugars in sweets, cakes, biscuits etc, but those needless and mischievously added to savoury foods, sauces, processed foods. Then of course there is the issue that even fresh fruit and vegetables have been bred to contain more sugars, to make tastes more palatable to children it seems.

It’s really sad to see children developing serious debilitating conditions at such young ages, and it’s too simplistic just to blame parents. Now I’m not letting them off the hook here – it’s obvious that 5 and half stones is far too heavy for a 3 year old girl and yes parents of overweight children could take advice before things get to such extreme  levels. But advice from whom? The messages about healthy eating are confusing. I see plenty of evidence, both clinically and anecdotally in everyday life, of people becoming overweight and obese DESPITE trying to eat healthily. Next time you’re in a supermarket notice how many overweight people are pushing shopping trolleys filled with low-fat manufactured food products. The very products the food industry wants you to believe, and go on believing, will help you maintain good health and an appropriate weight. They won’t. Low-fat products mean higher-sugar products of course.

So it’s really unhelpful that we have the media STILL talking about fat instead of sugar in relation to obesity. We just need to stay focused on one simple message please: SUGAR IS MAKING OUR KIDS FAT AND SICK.

Diabetes soars by 60% in a decade? Here’s the answer!

60%The media this morning is full of the news that diabetes rates have soared by about 60% in the past decade. As a consequence it’s proposed NHS services will creak even more.

So it was with great disappointment that I came across an article from just 3 days ago. Just 3 days ago the NHS itself published an article about weight loss diets. It is a far from helpful article, giving no clear guidance to anyone wanting to lose weight, and continuing to promote low-fat diets. Any suggestion that low-fat might be the way to go for anyone
is absurd, but suggesting this might be a better option compared with low-carbs could just be catastrophic for people living with diabetes – either Type 1 or Type 2!

So here it is as simply as I can write it: THERE IS NO ONE-SIZE FITS ALL when it comes to diet and lifestyle.

As far as low-fat is concerned it’s way overdue that we should lay this myth to rest. Low-fat = more sugar. In 2011 the Harvard School for Public Health declared “It’s time to end the low-fat myth“, yet 4 years on our NHS still thinks there’s any room for debate? Have they not yet realised that 40 years of low-fat diets have largely contributed to our current situation? Ever increasing rates of obesity. Ever increasing rates of Type 2 diabetes. NHS resources stretched with no hope in sight.

As far as low-carb is concerned? It’s a meaningless generic term in my book. An appropriate level of carbs for me – sitting here writing for you – would be utterly inappropriate, and likely far too low, for anyone with a physical job. What would be appropriate for a person with a high level of daily physical activity would be way too many for me. I can feel my middle swelling just at the thought of it!

It’s time to get with the plot. Educate people to understand what is appropriate for their own unique circumstances and individual needs. Support them to get great results. Watch the health of the nation improve!

The Truth About Sugar – was it useful for people living with diabetes?

fiona phillipsSo, did you see The Truth About Sugar on BBC 1 last night at 9pm?

If you did watch, and you’ve been following RebalanceDiabetes closely, you’ll have recognised a lot of the messages! So much of what I have shared with you via FaceBook, Twitter, in newsletters and in this blog over the past 2 years was covered in the programme. It was great to see those messages finally being addressed on TV. There was one huge message, however, that I whole-heartedly disagree with – but I’ll come on to that!

The way in which the messages were covered was simple, straightforward, and graphic. Some of the experiments they used to illustrate the points brought them home powerfully, I thought.

Here are some of the useful facts to keep reminding yourself of:

  • Sugar leads to body fat – quickly AND easily!
  • Sugar leads to disease!
  • There are huge quantities of sugar hidden in processed foods – even savory dishes.
  • The food industry go to great lengths to work out exactly how much sugar will make you eat more of their products – regardless of it’s effect on your health!
  • More onus should be put on the food industry to make it clear how much sugar is hidden in their products! Never mind the food industry representative saying everyone knows that a gram means – actually I don’t believe they do! I think everyone understands what a teaspoon of sugar looks like though!
  • The ONLY way to know what’s in your food is to cook it yourself and from scratch.
  • The sugars we drink cause us to eat more because they interfere with your hunger mechanism, and your body can’t tell you to stop taking in calories.
  • Drinking fruit juices means you take in massively more sugar than eating whole fruits. What I would add here though is that fruit contains the same type of sugar, and it’s just as harmful, as in juices, so fruit consumption shouldn’t be unlimited! 

So here’s the point I absolutely disagree with: Sadly The Truth About Sugar promoted the idea of artificial sweeteners. NO! There is enough research to show that artificial sweeteners still cause problems. Some of the articles I’ve shared with you over the months show that people are actually MORE likely to be obese using artificially-sweetened drinks compared with the full-sugar varieties. And research has shown that artificial sweeteners disrupt insulin – making them just as dangerous for people living with diabetes. Switching to artificial sweeteners is the one message I would love you to ignore from last night’s programme.

Otherwise, The Truth About Sugar gets my thumbs up, and I can’t wait for next week’s episode!

The first principle of healthy eating for diabetes

There has been so much in the press and news recently about healthy eating / weight loss: the most effective diets, the healthiest things to eat and the best things to avoid. It strikes me that what applies to non-diabetics isn’t always the wisest advice for people with diabetes, and actually people with diabetes have a more tenuous path to walk to achieve both weight loss and good health. I’m not talking about out-there whacky fad diets here. There’s some quite mainstream, some might say “sensible”, advice that doesn’t quite hit the mark for people with blood sugar issues.

I suppose the thing that got me thinking was a strap-line in an article in The Times recently. It read: “The debate over fat and carbs obscures the truth that consuming fewer calories than we burn is the only way to slim“.

Well the truth is, that the debate about fat and carbs is crucial for people with diabetes, and it matters very much what form of calories you consume. The reason being of course that what the calories are made from has a huge impact on their effect on blood sugar levels. The difference between carbs and fats or indeed proteins is vast in terms of their effect on blood sugar.

But it isn’t just the number or nature of your daily calories that impact on blood sugar. The timing and size of meals is also a key factor in keeping your blood sugars balanced. Just these 2 factors could be the difference between burning body fat or storing more of it!

The two diagrams below illustrate what might happen if you eat fewer larger meals compared with smaller more frequent meals. Though they may involve the same actual foods overall, you can clearly see the different effects timings and meal sizes would have on your body.

InsulinGraph

InsulinGraph2

Blood sugar balance is one of four major principles underpinning the RebalanceDiabetes programme. I explain all of them in the FREE RebalanceDiabetes seminars that I hold each month. I would love to explain the other 3 to you in person and if that sounds good to you too why not book your place at the next event on Monday 23 March – here’s the link.

See you there?

Jenni Murray is wide of the mark!

jenni murrayI have just finished reading Jenni Murray’s article today in the Daily Mail. When she wrote it, I assume she aimed to evoke a bit of old fashioned Christmas nostalgia in her readers. For me she has missed the mark – by a few million miles!!

Despite being morbidly obese. Despite having had cancer. Despite having had hip surgery. Despite that she is at risk of Type 2 diabetes, she gleefully talks about her plans for a last unrestrained feast before she has a gastric band fitted in the new year. Jenni Murray has made no secret of the fact that she will be having weight loss surgery. She has been open and straightforward about that in her usual manner. According to other reports, she has been delighted by her listeners’ support and responses to her story – she says she feels she has no other choice for the sake of her health.

So it’s with a great sense of disappointment that I read her article today: she certainly doesn’t paint a picture of a woman with no choice, just of one who has previously exercised poor choice and no restraint. She reminisces about feeling bloated after both a cooked breakfast and a traditional lunch, but still proudly finding space for a whole selection box, a ham salad tea, stilton, cake and mince pies. She talks about looking forward to her final “blow-out” and how she plans to enjoy every mouthful of champagne, chocolates, smoked salmon, as well as all the stuff she usually consumes.

Hear when I say, I am not against gastric bands per se, I understand they save lives in extreme cases. But I am concerned that bariatric surgery is increasingly being represented as a lifestyle choice by people who really don’t want to take personal responsibility for what they put in their mouths. And I don’t appreciate or condone the attitude of people who brazenly crow about the amount they will continue to eat knowing that a gastric band (usually not at their own expense of course!) will eventually get them off the hook of personal responsibility!

A few years ago a man presented in my clinic asking for what he thought would be a quick fix treatment for weight loss. He explained that he had been a big eater all his life and he lived on pizza, pies, fish and chips. Upon reaching what he believed was the national threshold for bariatric surgery he was disappointed to find the local NHS guidelines had been set at some 5 stones higher. So on the advice of a ‘kindly’ nurse he endeavoured, and succeeded, to put on another 5 stones! He had been rewarded with his desired gastric band – at tax-payers’ expense of course. Subsequently his weight had fallen to, and plateaued at, 17 stones – just over a stone less than his original starting point. He found he could still consume all the pizzas, pies and fish and chips as before – it was just that he vomited what his new smaller stomach couldn’t take. I declined to provide the treatment he had requested – it wasn’t really the quick fix he thought it might be anyway – and offered him some nutritional advice. He explained to me that he couldn’t “be arsed [his actual word!] with vegetables or healthy food“. I explained to him that I wouldn’t help him.

You could say it’s none of my business if someone wants to eat themselves to the point of self-destruction and then opt for debilitating surgery – bariatric surgery comes with various consequences from an inability to absorb nutrients, to death! You could say that Jenni Murray’s choices are also none of my business, except that she has made it my business by going public on both her promotion of gluttony in a few days’ time, and her election for surgery.

She is a woman to whom so many people have looked up as an intelligent broadcaster and journalist over many years, and yet she has just told the world that greed is OK, that failure to take personal responsibility is OK, and that society will pick up the pieces and provide a solution when people get themselves into a self-induced mess.

None of that’s OK, Jenni!

The people I usually work with are those who have tried to eat healthily and to take care of themselves. These people have largely fallen victim to the healthy eating myths and supposedly healthy food options made available by a food industry unremittingly motivated by profit over the health of their customers. Low-fat, high sugar addicts thanks to the food and diet industries, and even the medical profession which has advised such products to their patients! These are the people who have lost their way not through gluttony, and yet live with the stigma of blame for their weight and illnesses including Type 2 diabetes! These are people who are quite prepared to take responsibility – after all they have taken it upon themselves to privately fund my advice! These are the people for whom I might see a valid place for bariatric surgery – as a last resort. Jenni Murray’s article has done these people a great disservice!

Thankfully this week we also are able to draw on the story of the lady who recently lost 9 stones by simply controlling her own diet. This is the lady I truly hope will be the role model for anyone planning to lose weight in the new year. The lady who took responsibility for her weight, the lady who took responsibility for her own eating habits, the lady who set a great example to everyone who might need to lose a few pounds of their own. It’s her Christmas menu I would like to hear about, and be inspired by, please Daily Mail!

Why swapping low-fat for low-carb isn’t enough!

fatsWe’ve seen plenty of news articles recently that confirm low carb-diets are better for diabetes than low-fat. And I agree. BUT…

…that’s not the whole story. You’ve got to understand more about the nature of fats!

A bacon and egg fry-up might trump toast and marmalade in the blood-sugar stakes, and keep you feeling fuller for longer, but it also contains massively more calories. You see, just 1 gram of carb contains 4 calories of energy. 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories of energy too. 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy! That’s  more than twice the calories in fat compared with carbs or protein. And yet, I haven’t seen a single article warning readers of this fact.

Without considering portion sizes it will be so easy to take in huge amounts of calories.

Also, there isn’t enough being said about which fats are healthy and which are harmful. So I thought maybe it’s time to set the record straight here too…

Hydrogenated/trans fats are THE WORST! Artificial laboratory-made to turn an unsaturated oil into a saturated fat by adding hydrogen into the mix. It’s a way to make an oil into a solid, spreadable fat. But it’s also a fat that your body cannot process as nutrition. It’s a fat that is so toxic it will damage your liver, and will linger in your body for a long, long time. Give these fats a miss – never be tempted to use them. Remember, oils that are liquid at room temperature have to have been artificially processed to turn them into a ‘margarine’. Pure olive oil spreads, pure sunflower spreads, pure soya spreads all fall into this category.

butterSaturated fats can be processed by the body – and there’s increasing evidence that they are not harmful. Their reputation is certainly being redeemed right now. BUT, ‘not harmful’ is not exactly the same as ‘healthy’! That said, coconut oil is a saturated fat, and is also getting great press about health benefits too! Butter is once again the thing to spread on your bread – but watch out for those calories – it’s hard to stick to a light smear of butter. It tastes so good it’s too easy to slather on thickly!

Unsaturated fats have long been thought to be healthy. That’s only partly true! Omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids are definitely OK – both are associated with good heart health, and, on top of that, omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Olive oil is high in these 2 omegas – that’s why it is still considered to be the healthiest oil! And of course it’s the key ingredient that makes the Mediterranean diet so beneficial!

But omega-6 – oh dear oh dear! Omega-6 is necessary. BUT omega-6 is inflammatory too!

Now, we do all need an inflammatory response – it could be a life-saver. But when we develop too much inflammation then real health problems occur. Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, cardio-vascular disease, stroke, arthritis, fibromyalgia, are all associated with high levels of inflammation. And high levels of omega-6 have now been shown to contribute to these conditions.

Before we used processed foods it’s thought we had a ratio of about 1:1 between omega-6 and omega-3 in our diets. But with processed foods our diets are way higher in inflammatory omega-6 than anti-inflammatory omega-3.  Research findings now suggest we should seriously limit the amount of omega-6 in our diets. Sunflower oil has about 26 times more omega-6 than omega-3 – definitely one to avoid! Rapeseed oil has been hailed for several years as the UK’s healthy equivalent to olive oil. Sorry folks, it’s just not true! Rapeseed has twice as much omega-6 compared with omega-3 and doesn’t begin to be the equivalent of olive oil at all.

The big downfall with olive oil, and other high omega-3 oils, is that they burn and become toxic at high temperatures, so be careful of heating them for roasting/frying. Best stick with butter or coconut oil for high temperature cooking (saturated fats are difficult to burn), and use olive oil for gentle cooking or for use cold.

Any questions? Please just ask!