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Newsletter 16, May 2008

This issue of the Good Diet Good Health Newsletter includes...

  1. Weight loss diets come full circle
  2. Did you know?
  3. Latest recipes in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook
  4. Your successes, requests and questions
  5. Tell us what you think
  6. Visit our newsletter archive
  7. Free resources

1) Weight Loss Diets Come Full Circle

Isn't it strange how things always seem to come full circle? Take weight loss diets, for example. Up until the 1920s, it was generally accepted that losing weight meant cutting out or reducing high carbohydrate foods like sugar, bread and potatoes. Then the calorie concept was invented, and losing weight became a matter of cutting down on quantity of food instead. Next fat entered the equation. Nutritionists had worked out that because fat contains more calories than either protein or carbohydrate, restricting fat was an easy way to cut calories. Researchers had also carried out studies which at the time seemed to prove that fat in the diet led to high cholesterol and heart disease. As a result, a low fat, low calorie diet soon became the accepted way to lose weight and remained so for many years.

But did the low calorie and low fat methods of weight loss dieting work? Well, they did for some people, but for a great many others they did not.

In the 1990s, the idea that carbohydrates are for many people the real villains in weight gain came back into fashion. Views on dieting had come full circle. Dr Atkins of Atkins Diet fame was perhaps the best-known proponent of carbohydrate restriction as a way to lose weight, although there have been many other clinicians and researchers saying the same thing.

Unfortunately, low carb diets and the Atkins Diet in particular received a lot of negative press, much of it caused by a basic misunderstanding of how the different food groups - carbohydrates, fats and proteins - are processed by the body. Since then, more clinical studies have been completed, from which it is becoming increasingly clear that the old beliefs about carbohydrates causing many people's weight problems were right after all.

Moreover, research is showing that fat and cholesterol are not the villains they were made out to be, either. The evidence demonstrates that it is too many refined carbohydrates in the diet which are the cause of heart disease, not fat and cholesterol - just as Dr Atkins and many others believed.

Unfortunately, most government healthy eating advice is so rooted in the 'low fat is healthiest' concept and the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are so deeply committed to products and therapies based on the outdated and discredited science that supports it that that it will take many years for the latest knowledge to translate into real change.

An American science writer called Gary Taubes has recently published a book on this very subject. The book is called Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease (the UK version is called 'The Diet Delusion'). If you want to understand how little credible science supports the belief that carbohydrates are the good guys and fat and cholesterol are the bad guys in obesity, diabetes and heart disease, then read Gary's book. He also explains just how it could come about that these incorrect beliefs could have become so established in the scientific research and medical worlds, despite plentiful evidence that they were wrong. As Richard Rhodes, winner of the Pulitzer Prize said, the book is 'easily the most important book on diet and health to be published in the past one hundred years'.

Read the book, lend it to your friends, ask your doctor to read it, or even donate a copy to your local library - let's not waste the next fifty years going full circle once again before we finally understand that it is refined carbohydrates and not fat and cholesterol or too little exercise that are behind the scourges of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

2) Did You Know?

  • Tomatoes contain lots of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant (antioxidants mop up free radicals, which are the harmful molecules linked to cancer)
  • The lycopene is made easier for your body to absorb when the tomatoes are cooked or processed, such as in ketchup or pasta sauce
  • Lycopene is also found in pink grapefruit and watermelons
  • A recent study has found that lycopene may also help protect against sunburn and boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin supple.

3) Latest recipes in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook

For those of our readers who are subscribers to the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook, two new recipes have just been released: Garlic Chicken Spanish Style and Lemon, Banana and Mascarpone Dessert. You will find these recipes already in your Cookbook next time you log in.

4) Your Successes, Requests And Questions

This is your spot. Whether it's your dietary success story, a request to cover a particular topic in a future newsletter or a question you would like answered, we would love to hear from you. Please do contact us.

Here is a question we answered recently:

  • Q I've tried everything but I'm still not losing the weight. I'm getting really depressed and at the end of my tether. I try so hard but the weight won't come off and I feel such a failure. I know it must be my fault but I don't know what to do.
  • A It's NOT your fault! Losing weight is not about eating less, or eating low fat. It's not about dealing with emotional 'issues' either. To lose weight you have to overcome all kinds of real, physical barriers such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and inbuilt survival mechanisms. These are mostly ignored in diet advice, generally because very few medical professionals are aware of the complexity of what goes on in your body when you try to lose weight. You need to get all these aspects into balance before you can be successful on your diet. Even eating low carb may not work for you until you have all the other bits of the jigsaw in place.

    The average doctor doesn't have time to read the hundreds of research studies and books looking at this very specialised area - but I have! Learn more about the barriers that are preventing you from losing weight and how to overcome them in my book Why Can't I Lose Weight.

5) Tell Us What You Think

Your opinions matter to us. If there is something you particularly like or don't like about our newsletter or website, please let us know.

6) Visit Our Newsletter Archive

Did you miss an issue? Want to review an issue you really enjoyed? Be sure to check out our newsletter archive.

7) Free Resources

With best wishes for your continued good health

Jackie Bushell
Founder Director, GoodDietGoodHealth.com


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