12 Responses to “What the UK eats”

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  1. avatar Rita says:

    Can anyone tell me if it is OK to continue to take 1500mg of Metformin (per day) whilst on Phase 1. I finished phase 1 yesterday, felt like I was going to die! … and haven’t lost any weight. I am worried its something to do with the Metformin (I have PCOS) not diabetes.

    • avatar Zoë Harcombe says:

      Hi Rita – There’s a lot in a few words there!
      1) Many people feel bad in Phase 1 – withdrawal from caffeine, sugar and white flour can be pretty horrible. We have to remind people – real food doesn’t make you feel bad but coming off fake food can. So it could be unrelated…

      2) However – knowing what metformin does – if your carb intake dropped quite a bit for Phase 1 – metformin tries to lower blood glucose levels so you could have had a double whammy of less glucose in and the same amount of ‘trying to lower glucose’ going on and you could have had symptoms of Hypoglycaemia as described in the book.

      3) Not losing weight in Phase 1 is virtually unheard of (I can lose 4lb in 3 days if I do Phase 1) so this would suggest the metformin not helping and there is much evidence that diabetes medication (I know you don’t have diabetes but you’re on diabetes meds) is associated with weight gain (http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/hcm044v1)

      4) This may help understand the connection between PCOS, insulin, carbs etc http://zoeharcombe.com/assets/downloads/PCOS-ZoeHarcombe.pdf

      I personally would eat real food and not take meds but you need to work with your doctor to find what’s best for you. I can’t see how anything that is associated with weight gain is going to help you!

      Hope this helps
      Best wishes – Zoe

      • avatar Rita says:

        Thank you so much for replying. The double whammy sounds very likely – and I am now going to stop the Metformin (I only started taking it because I read it helps with weight loss if you have PCOS). I am unsure if you think I should do Phase 1 again but without meds or continue on Phase 2 without meds.
        Thanks Again. Rita.

        • avatar Zoë Harcombe says:

          Hi Rita – I really can’t advise on meds – you’d need to work with your doctor on that. I can advise on Phase 1 and I would give that another go – especially after reading the PCOS article and hopefully realising that carbs are not the friend of PCOS! Do watch your carb intake in Phase 2 as well for this reason
          Best wishes – Zoe

  2. avatar antony carter says:

    Swap sugar for Stevia and organic honey if you still have sugar cravings.
    Balance your pH with Lemon & Lime juice daily.
    Take Organic cold pressed coconut oil daily – 2/4tbsps – taste is good.
    Swap oats porridge for cereal.
    Make your own ice cream
    Eat lots of soft cheese, brie etc. Full cream milk and lots of pure organic butter.
    Check out “The Fat Revolution” by Christine Cronau of Brisbane, Qld. OZ! http://www.christinecronau.com

  3. avatar Robin Dowswell says:

    Looking at table 1.2 the poor old chicken (some free ranging?) has lost out on being in the real food category as it lives in section 4 with bacon and ham and other processed meats. The amount of chicken eaten is more than the total of all listed carcase meat. I’d guess that categories 3 and 4 would actually be about equal in terms of diet % if chicken is counted as carcase meat.

  4. avatar Johanna says:

    I agree with the ALL NATURAL FOOD fylosophy, but would there be food enough if everybody would start eating it, Zoe?

    • avatar Zoë Harcombe says:

      Hi Johanna
      Good question and it’s something that Barry Groves was working on when he died (about this time last year so sadly). Here are a couple of thoughts for starters:
      1) But for fake food we would not have the population to feed that we do now. Had we stayed true to eating from the land we would have had the population that we could sustain.

      2) The early work that Barry did on this convinced him that it was possible to feed everyone with real food. See “The Political argument” section in this post (http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2011/08/the-vegetarian-myth-lierre-keith/) and you could read more of Joel Salatin’s work. Every time I pass a rape field near where I live I can’t help but think – all that space to grow so many plants to extract oil – how inefficient must that be?! And then the oil has a bit of vitamin E and K (from memory), no protein, no minerals and none of the other vitamins – what’s the point!?

      3) We need real food to be able to sustain the population because fake food is killing it. Either fake food will win (as it is now) and this generation will die younger than parents from obesity and type 2 diabetes (and cancer, heart disease etc) or people will turn to real food and survive. It’s a living experiment, going on under our noses, with c. 1 billion people involved and most of them don’t even know it!

      Fake food has created a problem that it can’t get us out of.
      Happy reading!
      Very best wishes – Zoe


  5. avatar Dave says:

    Interesting but just who were / are the target participants ? or was it one questionnaire and extrapolate the rest to suit.

    • avatar Zoë Harcombe says:

      Hi Dave – it explains this in 1.1 – first part of the text. “The Family Food Survey covers about 6000 households across the United Kingdom each year. Foods are reported at a detailed level and demographic patterns and trends are identified.”
      Best wishes – Zoe

  6. avatar Michael says:

    “Real food can be found in rows 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 13. This amounts to 436 calories – 22% of the total. 78% of what the UK eats is fake food.”

    Well, that’s almost perfect. Comes very close to the Paleo 80/20-rule: 80% cheat and 20% real food. Or maybe I got that the wrong way around.

    Seriously, very sad. And really it is just so easy, not to mention enjoyable, to eat real food only – so I stick to my own 100-rule.

  7. avatar Nigella says:

    8 Sugar and preserves 63 3.2%
    9 Fresh potatoes 47 2.4%
    13 Fresh fruit 43 2.2%
    14 Processed fruit 49 2.5%
    15 Bread 204 10.2%
    16 Flour 37 1.9%
    17 Cakes, buns & pastries 73 3.7%
    18 Biscuits 107 5.4%
    19 Other cereal products 239 12.0%
    22 Soft drinks 45 2.3%
    23 Confectionery 79 4.0%
    24 Alcoholic drinks 58 2.9%

    TOTAL 52.7%

    That is the percentage I come to of carb/sugar based or nutritionally void foods that people eat on a daily basis. And the Govt & health bodies can’t work out why we are a nation of porkers!!!!!!

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