Trust me I’m a doctor – not on nutrition

Michael Mosley was back on our screens last week (15 October 2014). I do like MM. I like his bedside manner. I like his preparedness to self-experiment and he’s becoming more and more aligned with the real foodie way of thinking, as shown with his confession on exercise here and on fat here.

However, he and the other doctors on Trust me I’m a doctor (TMIAD), are being badly let down by whoever is advising them on nutrition. Doctors receive barely a few hours of training in nutrition, despite Hippocrates’ advice “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

The carb experiment

Dr Chris van Tulleken, one of the twins who did the Horizon fat vs. sugar experiment in January 2014, is one of the TMIAD presenters. He took part in a ‘ground-breaking’ experiment, in an Italian restaurant, with the positioning statement: “starchy foods, like potatoes and pasta, have lots of calories but can you make these goods better for you?”

The study lead was Dr Denise Robertson from the University of Surrey. The 10 participants were given 100g (cooked weight) of pasta (with a tomato based sauce), 3 days in succession. On day one the pasta was hot, just cooked; on day two the pasta was cold, having been chilled overnight; and on day three they had the chilled pasta re-heated.  This is a good experiment design, as the same subjects are used for all three interventions thus minimising any impact of different people responding differently to the same circumstances. The participants took their own blood samples every 15 minutes for the 2 hours following the pasta consumption.

Robertson’s hypothesis was that cooking the pasta differently would “reduce its calories.”

Tulleken narrated: “starchy foods like this are very quickly broken down into sugars … high sugars, and the resulting insulin, are unhealthy and they may make you feel hungry soon after a meal. And that’s the problem with refined sweet sugars, but it’s also true for things like pasta, potatoes, white rice and white bread.”

The results

A graph was shown of the rise in blood glucose levels after eating first the freshly cooked pasta.

The average fasting blood glucose level is 5.6 mmol/L, but the normal range is wide and most people fall into a fasting blood glucose range of 3.3-7.7 mmol/L. The starting average blood glucose level for the group of 10 was 4.6 mmol/L (reading from the graph on the TV as accurately as possible). The peak blood glucose level occurred after 30 minutes – 6.6 mmol/l. At 120 minutes, the mean blood glucose levels were 5.3 mmol/L.

The chilled pasta peaked at about 6.4 mmol/L and the peak was slightly later than the freshly cooked pasta. However, the graph shown on the programme put the fresh pasta and chilled pasta alongside each other. I don’t know about you, but I found the difference between the green and blue lines completely underwhelming.

Robertson explained what had happened as follows: “We know that when a starch, such as potato or pasta, is cooked in water and then it’s allowed to cool, you’re changing the structure of that starch. You’re changing it in such a way, it becomes resistant to the normal enzymes that we have within our bodies. And, because the enzymes don’t work on it, it releases less glucose and so you get a lower glucose response.”

Tulleken clarifies “So it’s good for you because you get a lower blood sugar.”

Robertson: “You do and it’s now called resistant starch. And resistant starch, because you’re not digesting it will move down your intestine; it will end up in your large bowel and it becomes part of your dietary fibre.”

It got a bit more interesting when the two-day-old chilled pasta was re-heated. The graph for this one led Tulleken to exclaim: “astonishingly, it reduces the rise in glucose by another 50% making it even healthier.” You can see the second graph below

The blood glucose peak for the re-heated pasta is 5.7 mmol/L. The 50% is a relative claim, using the 4.6 mmol/L starting blood glucose level and is highly misleading. The red line is more different from the green line than the blue line is, but it’s not ground-breaking and here is why…

The programme could have produced a flat line – none of the ‘bad’ rise in glucose, sugar peak and insulin production by either 1) giving the subjects meat or fish or 2) giving them the pasta packaging to eat!

What this experiment has done is to make food less digestible so that it doesn’t produce the physiological changes that occur when the body registers that we have eaten food. The ultimate indigestible substance would be the cardboard box from which the pasta came. “But that would be stupid – it has no nutrients“, I hear you cry and you would hit the nail on the head. This experiment seems to completely disregard the reason why we eat. We eat food because we need nutrients to survive: essential fats; complete proteins; vitamins and minerals. This experiment is celebrating indigestibility – the pointlessness of eating something.

White pasta has little enough nutrition to start with. When it has been boiled once, chilled in a fridge overnight, left for another day and then re-boiled – how many nutrients do you think survived? I don’t know. I can tell you what it had after it was first cooked. And then compare it to the meat or fish that the participants could have enjoyed in the same Italian restaurant:

(All per 100g of cooked product) Sirloin steak Sardines Pasta
Calories per 100g 219 208 158
Nutrition score 37 52 25
Protein Quality 94 148 45
Macronutrients
Carb 0 0 31
Fat 11 11 1
Protein 29 25 6
Water 60 60 62
TOTAL (Ash makes up remainder) 100 96 100
Vitamins (RDA)
A (3000 IU) 0 108 0
B1 (1.2 mg) 0.1 0.1 0
B2 (1.3 mg) 0.1 0.2 0
B3 (16 mg) 7.9 5.2 0.4
B5 (5 mg) 0.6 0.6 0.1
B6 (1.7 mg) 0.6 0.2 0
Folate (400 mcg) 9 12 7
B12 (2.4 mcg) 1.9 8.9 0
C (90 mg) 0 0 0
D (600 IU) 0 272 0
E (15 mg) 0.4 2 0.1
K (120 mcg) 1.5 2.6 0
Minerals (M)
Calcium (1000-1200 mg) 19 382 7
Magnesium (420 mg) 24 39 18
Phosphorus (700 mg) 218 490 58
Potassium (4,700 mg) 355 397 44
Sodium (1,500 mg) 58 505 1
Minerals (T)
Copper (0.9 mg) 0.1 0.2 0.1
Iron (18 mg) 2.0 2.9 1.3
Manganese (2.3 mg) 0.0 0.1 0.3
Selenium (55 mcg) 31.5 52.7 26.4
Zinc (11 mg) 5.2 1.3 0.5

 

As you can see from the table, the pasta has no essential fats, no complete protein and is pretty pointless for vitamins and minerals – manganese being an unimpressive exception. And this was before it was chilled, left and re-heated – no doubt destroying more of these paltry nutrients. The essence of this part of the programme was that a researcher managed to reduce the nutritional content of pasta by making it less digestible and this was considered a good thing?!

Interesting points

The really interesting points from this experiment are:

1) It shows how deeply and completely ingrained the belief is that we should be basing our meals on starchy foods. At no point did a nutritional scientist (Robertson) or a doctor (Tulleken) – both very bright people no doubt – question the wisdom of eating starchy carbohydrates in the first place. Especially in the context of the discussion about blood glucose and insulin response being desirable to avoid.

2) It was a fun admission that a calorie is not a calorie. Those who think that there is only one law of thermodynamics (and even this one doesn’t say energy in = energy out) will be beyond distressed trying to work out where the missing calories have gone.

Those who know that the second law, entropy, must be taken into account will enjoy the example of what entropy is all about – calories being lost and calorie being used in making available energy.

Those who really understand thermodynamics will know that it says nothing whatsoever about weight anyway – it is entirely about the movement of heat – and therefore it says no more about 100g of pasta than it says about 100g on the bathroom scales.

3) It was a wonderful admission, from a doctor, that starch is sugar. The starch that our government tells us to eat is sugar.

And those were the real lessons from the experiment.

The fat investigation

Later on in the programme, Mosley addressed the nutritional issue that led to the advice that we should eat more carbohydrate – the demonisation of fat. Mosley explained that he grew up in the 1960s when “medics declared war on saturated fat.” He shared that this had led to an increase in consumption of margarine and then we realised that the trans fats in spreads “are fantastically bad for the heart and they are being phased out“. Mosley described this as an example of “a public health campaign which had an unfortunate consequence.” But – Mosley set out to ask – how bad was the original advice on saturated fat?

In the introduction to this part of the programme, Mosley made all the errors that can be made in relation to fat in just a few words: “Saturated fatty acids, as they are technically known, are found in animal fats… and also in some vegetable oils, like palm and coconut,  while other oils such as olive and sunflower contain polyunsaturated fatty acids.”

1) Saturated fatty acids are found in every single food that contains fat – not just animal foods – there are no exceptions.

2) Saturated fatty acids are found in all vegetable oils – not just palm and coconut – there are no exceptions.

3) Oils, such as olive and sunflower, and palm and coconut, do contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. They also contain saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids because all foods with fat contain all three fats – there are no exceptions.

Mosley then sets off to try to answer the question” Does saturated fat really increase the risk of heart disease, as is widely believed?” But what hope does he have when he doesn’t even know what saturated fat is?!

Mosley interviews Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, from the Department of Public Health at Cambridge University, who was part of the study group that did a systematic review of 49 observational studies and 27 Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) with the conclusion “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”

Professor Christian Drevon, from the Department of Nutrition at Oslo University, was the BBCs classic counter-balance interview. He still thinks that “saturated fat in the diet is one of the major risk factors for Coronary Heart Disease“. This is where Mosley’s ignorance didn’t help, as he wasn’t armed with the right questions to challenge Drevon, who should have been asked: What is saturated fat? How can we obtain the essential fats, complete protein, vitamins and minerals that we need to survive without eating saturated fat? (and quite a lot of it) Why do you tell people to favour vegetable fats over animal fats when a tablespoon of olive oil has nearly three times the total fat and twice thee saturated fat of a 100g pork chop? And so on…

From a lack of basic understanding, it was perhaps not surprising that Mosley’s announced that his personal conclusion on saturated fat is: “These days I do eat butter and drink milk, but it’s not an excuse to pour down double cream because, whatever it’s doing to your heart, fat is very rich in calories.” Where the heck did calories come in?!

Trust me I’m a doctor?

I did enjoy the programme. The evidence for acupuncture having a visible effect under MRI, but without the mechanism being known, was honest and interesting. The paralysed patient being able to stand and move his limbs again was utterly inspirational and hugely significant for spinal cord injuries. The vitamin D study was interesting – mostly for the fact that less than half of a group of office workers had adequate vitamin D levels – more so than the discovery that sun, vitamin supplements or oily fish would work equally well and quickly at restoring those levels. There was much of value in the programme. However, it sadly showed that, when it comes to nutritional science, you may not want to trust your doctor.

29 thoughts on “Trust me I’m a doctor – not on nutrition

  • avatar
    May 28, 2015 at 11:19 pm
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    Hello, thank you for your article.

    It is written in a pdf document that white bread had to be frozen 30 days to become a resistant starch. I am really wondering why? For white rice it’s 12 hours in the fridge, for pasta also, but why 30 days frozen for white bread. Please can someone explain to me.

    thanks

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  • avatar
    January 9, 2015 at 12:58 am
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    I don’t want to downplay the serious and helpful information provided in the comments so far but surely they’ve all slightly missed the point haven’t they ?
    I’m referring to the pasta / carb debate…
    Wasn’t the real message that came from the “experts” simply – if you eat and enjoy pasta a couple of times a week then you can still enjoy it, in the same amount, but have less detrimental health effects by simply cooking it the night before and re-heating it…
    I don’t remember them ever saying it was good for you… the message I came away with was that the food I love to eat, I can still eat – in the same quantity – while it did less damage to my health. Isn’t that good… seeing as I was going to eat it anyway ?
    It seems to me that it’s one of a small number of programmes that hasn’t reduced my enjoyment of a particular food while still letting me eat it in the same quantity I did before – while doing me less harm !

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  • avatar
    November 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm
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    Hi Zoe,

    I was wondering about this statement in your PDF:
    “The latter require a steady supply of carbohydrate and this keeps their body in fat storing mode rather than fat burning mode.”

    I’m confused about this. Why would you want to help someone lose weight by putting them in fat storage mode?

    thank you!

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    • avatar
      November 23, 2014 at 11:42 am
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      Hi Caroline
      I don’t know which PDF you’re referring to – please can you point it out?

      My guess from just the extract is that the answer to your question is “Exactly!” It sounds like I’m pointing out that the last thing you want to do to lose weight is to keep consuming carbs (but that is exactly the dietary advice that we are given). I’m probably just pointing out how wrong something is!

      Hope this helps and/or I’ll look out for the PDF in question
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm
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    Zoe,

    Resistant starches and prebiotics seem to be very important for gut health based on the latest research that is coming out. Doesn’t mean we should all be switching to a high starch diet, but having some RS and other prebiotics from some tubers, starchy vegetables (onions, asparagus etc.) and yes even rice if prepared correctly can and should be part of a healthy diet. How much you consume comes down to self experimentation. So yes, carbs can be quite beneficial, but most of them should probably go to feeding the symbiotes in your gut.

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  • avatar
    November 3, 2014 at 11:52 pm
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    Yes, I enjoyed MM’s programme, and Zoe’s commentary even more. Only point on which I’d disagree was why we eat (eg) not terribly nutritious starches. I eat them – sometimes, and usually in moderation – because I enjoy them. I suspect I’m not alone. I don’t care about their nutritional value at all. When I want nutrition, I eat other things, which is most of the time. Therefore, knowing that if I abuse the starches by re-cooking them, I can perhaps enjoy them more often. Plus: I think they can taste better, maybe because their texture has improved. Anyone agree ?

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  • avatar
    October 31, 2014 at 9:53 pm
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    Zoe, you say many sensible things but you have completely ignored one of the primary purposes of resistant starch in the human diet. It is essential for feeding the gut microbes our body relies on for maintaining a strong immune system and overall gut health. Anthropological studies show that humans have long sought out and eaten starchy tubers. They feed us in important ways. By all means caution against modern grains, refined carbs, sugar, and so forth. These items are not essential for a healthy human. And saturated fat is not the enemy. Almost every human ill in modern society can be traced back to the consumption of refined grains and sugar and the elimination of healthily produced animal proteins and fats. Eliminate grain and sugar and you go a long way to sort things out. But do not make the mistake of demonising foods containing resistant starch. There’s plenty of scientific evidence available to support its importance in the human diet. If you’re truly committed to helping people, you’ll follow the truth – not an agenda.

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  • avatar
    October 26, 2014 at 12:57 am
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    I agree with you that pasta is a poor food altogether, but potatoes, for example, another high-starch food, are very good for us, if it weren’t for the pesky 15-17% starch content.

    Surely being able to cook, cool, and reheat spuds with this theoretical 50% reduction in starch absorption, is great news? Especially since presumably, vitamin C (for instance), abundant in potatoes and water-soluble, would get through.

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    October 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm
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    Something interesting I noticed about the Vitamin D item was that the two people whose levels were VERY low were the most noticeably overweight in the group. I wondered if there might be a connection. And I am not meaning to be derogatory about these two people – they may well be overweight through eating according to official dietary advice, as I did for many years. My health was not great, and although I was never tested for Vitamin D deficiency, who knows…?

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    • avatar
      October 24, 2014 at 10:07 am
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      Hi Jennie – you’re right! https://www.sciencenews.org/article/link-between-obesity-and-vitamin-d-clarified
      I suspect the direction of causation is low fat/low cal/high carb/high processed diet adversely affects both weight and health. Hence real food/managed carb could fix both the weight and nutrient deficiency (it won’t just be vit D). That would have been an interesting programme insight had they made it!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
    • avatar
      February 17, 2018 at 10:37 am
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      I think it is possible to suggest a causal link in either direction.

      On one hand vitamin D (in the form made by the body, or D3 supplements is fat-soluble, so if you carry a lot of body fat it will act as a storage facility for D, so it is not available in the circulatory system. If you carry a lot of body fat you need MORE vitamin D than average.

      Also, vitamin D is a very effective anti-depressant – although it takes approximately 3 months, according to research to reach peak levels. Indeed it is arguable that the massive amount of pharmaceutical antidepressants that are prescribed both for depression and for sleep problems (vitamin D also makes the body recycle melatonin as well as serotonin) are actually a classic case of the medical industry making a lot of money treating a symptom when the real CAUSE is vitamin D deficiency!!!

      Doctors are SO badly educated about vitamins that they hardly think beyond the secondary school level that if you don’t have curved bones, you don’t have vitamin D deficiency, because it’s ‘only’ function, apparently is to prevent RICKETS!!

      I have read research by researchers who actually WORK with vitamin D who you can virtually SEE pulling out their hair at the levels of supplementation officially suggested. 5,000 in is pretty well the MINIMUM that has ANY sensible effect on blood serum levels, and the official definition of ‘deficient’ is anything between 2 and 4 times the level that can never considered OPTIMUM.

      It has all been made worse by the modern obsession with sun tan lotion. The body can produce 500-1000 units PER MINUTE naturally, but ONLY during a fairly narrow period around midday. (The type of uv light that stimulates skin to produce D ONLY gets through the atmosphere when the path is most direct.) Just don’t let your skin get BURNT (as soon as it begins to feel warm, cover up) But be reassured that one of the MANY things that doctors don’t know about vitamin D is that it has been found to be PROTECTIVE against skin cancer!! Just DON’T GET BURNT!! (Or take 5000 in per day of D3 – NOT D2, which is often in vegetarian supplements, is this is highly unavailable to the body, so virtually USELESS!!)

      Reply
      • avatar
        February 17, 2018 at 10:56 am
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        Oh yes, forgot to point out the connection!! Sorry.

        If you are depressed you are much more likely to overeat. I have proven to myself that the sense of never feeling satisfied, however much you eat, leading you to go from sweet to savoury and starchy to fat, just to try to get a sense of satisfaction is actually SEROTONIN DEFICIENCY.

        There is. very quick (10-15 min) ‘fix’ for this in the short term – 100-300mg
        5-HTP, which quickly coverts into serotonin (studies have been done using just 3 X 300mg per day and NO FOOD RESTRICTION that have lead to steady, sensible weight loss). Taken over the long term, though, this could be fairly expensive and is only doing the same as SSRIs – covering a symptom rather than curing the problem. Over the medium term, St John’s Wort works a treat (though don’t take it if you’re on the pill, discontinue if you get a reaction to sunlight – photosensitivity – and be VERY careful about mixing with 5HTP. The advice given is DON’T DO IT, but I would say, Learn to listen to your body. The first symptoms of too much serotonin are VERY VIVID and pretty horrible nightmares, so if you get them, reduce amount of 5HTP.)

        Aim to use 5HTP for nearly INSTANT (but relatively expensive!) relief; St John’s for medium term; and by the end of three months of vitamin D (which is ‘cheap as chips’!) You shouldn’t need the other two. taper sensibly between them using the quality of your dreams as a guide to whether you have too much serotonin in your brain.

        Think of 5HTP as turning on the tap in a bath and St John’s /vitamin D as bunging up the plughole bit by bit. You want to get the bath to a nice depth…but DON’T LET IT RUN OVER!!

        Reply
  • avatar
    October 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm
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    MM makes, again, the stupid (ignorant) comment that it is ok to eat butter, but be careful of the cream. It is amazing how many people do not understand what butter is. Concentrated cream. That is to say, cream with the water and milk solids taken out.
    If you want to be more abstemious, use cream on your bread instead of butter. That is if you happen to like your bread rather soggy!

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  • avatar
    October 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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    An excellent response Zoe and you echo my thoughts about this programme, particularly that throwaway line at the end about calories!!

    And why on these programmes, when they want to show saturated fat, is it always someone eating a burger in a bun, ignoring the bread part of that concoction?

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  • avatar
    October 23, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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    Thank you for this Zoe, I read all your articles and I really think YOU need your own TV show or in the very least, your own Youtube channel with regular recordings, I have purchased your book and understand the knowledge behind the eating you champion, but it would be such a help to have some real advice out there covering current topics like this one.

    I’m one of those people who somewhat instinctively trusts MM based on his treatment of IF after years of being told by doctors that fasting during illness, such as the flu was bad for me and my metabolism when I had been doing it for years because I found it worked. And I think that a lot of people tune into him because he has that status now, of pioneering this new idea that is so good for us, so its a shame that he’s taken so many of those viewers right into a tunnel of misinformation regarding starch when you could have really helped us have some calrity about what to eat. And I wonder about that in itself….

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  • avatar
    October 22, 2014 at 11:46 pm
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    The point about resistant starch is that it is a way for diabetics or anyone to decrease the glucose spike resulting from eating starchy foods if they can’t live without them. But, there is another advantage and that is that these starches are digested in the colon by gut bacteria and it is very nutritious for them and they pay us back by secreting beneficial fatty acids that nourish our colon. Many people take a TBS or so of Raw Potato starch, which causes NO glucose spike purposely to feed their gut bacteria for the purpose of a healthy gut biome.

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  • avatar
    October 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm
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    A calorie still is a calorie, changing the food such that the calories are inaccessible to the individual’s body doesn’t change that fact. Nor does glucose reactions have anything to do with calories. Lastly, eating without absorption of calories or nutrients may still impart satiety and possibly still affect hormonal milieu favorably if the body has been tricked into responding in other ways that acknowledge food consumption.

    Reply
    • avatar
      October 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm
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      When will people stop banging on about calories

      Do they even know how food calories measured!!

      The number of calories in food is measured by actually BURNING the food in a bomb calorimeter. This is a box with two chambers, one inside the other. The researchers weigh a sample of the food, put the sample on a dish, and put the dish into the inner chamber of the calorimeter.
      They fill the inner chamber with oxygen and then seal it so the oxygen can’t escape. The outer chamber is filled with a measured amount of cold water, and the oxygen in the first chamber (inside the chamber with the water) is ignited with an electric spark. When the food burns, an observer records the rise in the temperature of the water in the outer chamber. If the temperature of the water goes up 1 degree per kilogram, the food has 1 calorie; 2 degrees, 2 calories; and 235 degrees, 235 calories.

      It is a fact that fats have more than twice the calories of either protein or carbohydrates, BUT THIS IS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT as our bodies do not BURN our food like in the bomb calorimeter. We digest and metabolise our food using enzymes and hormones with fats, proteins and carbohydrates being processed in completely different ways.

      Reply
      • avatar
        October 23, 2014 at 9:41 am
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        Hi Brian – great way of putting it!
        Best wishes – Zoe

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        • avatar
          October 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm
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          The really annoying thing is that people who should know better (much much better) are still using the term “burn calories”. i.e.

          Dave Asprey. bulletproof.com
          Mark Sisson. marksdailyapple.com
          Chris Kresser chriskresser.com
          Joe Mercola mercola.com
          Keith Scott-Mumby scott-mumby.com
          Sayer Ji greenmedinfo.com

          Surely it would be much better to give macro nutrients measured in grams or ounces and not as a value of the (physics) energy released by BURNING the substance rather than the (physical /biological) energy released after metabolisation (two completely different processes). Logically if we BURNT our food turning it into heat energy (Calories) then no one would be obese as heat cannot be turned into and stored as body fat.

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  • avatar
    October 21, 2014 at 9:50 pm
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    You can’t blame the doctors’. When the answer is a pharma manufactured tablet or potion, then the health (or disease) question is irrelevant.

    Hippocrates must be spinning in his grave.

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  • avatar
    October 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm
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    The variation in blood sugar does not indicate calories or carbs digested/absorbed – consider comparing 50g carb from lucozade compared with 50g from pasta. Same amount of carbs, but you’d see very different graphs. You could do the same with equal calories from lucozade and pasta and you’d see the same thing – very different curves but the same caloric load.

    The resistant starches in reheated pasta may just be digested more slowly, producing less of a peak in blood glucose, because glucose is leaving the bloodstream as well as entering it. You could eat 100g pasta 1g at a time over 100 minutes and the graph would be much flatter, but the same carbs or calories would be absorbed compared with 100g eaten in 5 minutes.

    So yes, you’re reducing the peak blood glucose by altering the structure of the starch to make it less easily digestible (i.e. lower GI), but if it all does end up being digested, it will make no difference to energy intake.

    Reply
  • avatar
    October 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm
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    Zoe,
    on a bus yesterday I witnessed a very fat mother give her 2 children, both under 5, a whole Mars bar each, while she indulged in one herself. The younger child spit a mouthful onto the floor and was loudly reprimanded…as I thought for being messy. The child, too young to express verbally, then intimated s/he did not want any more, and was noisily told to eat it all up! The elder one, seemingly aware that not to finish the bar would have caused further wrath of the agitated mother, nibbled on until it was time to leave the bus, and took the first opportunity to shot it in the bin behind his mother’s back.
    Shortly afterwards, another very fat mother got on with her very fat boy, about 10 years old. She handed him a cellophane pack of 2 enormous ginger bread men….he commented on how brittle they were, and suggested that he didn’t care for them, but, washed down with a large bottle of some sugary concoction, he was encouraged to devour them, while she gazed into space, not in the least otherwise interested in the child.
    You know, I felt that both instances were examples of child neglect. Smacking children is now, thankfully, illegal…..but what to do with adults who behave in this way? I despair.

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    • avatar
      October 23, 2014 at 3:10 am
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      Yesterday, I (once again) saw the other end of the Child Nutritional Abuse (CNA) spectrum at my local “Health Food” store – a mom earnestly shopping for lots of high-carb “Healthy Whole Grains” (HWGs), nothing but no-fat yoghurt and Fakemilk(TM), and other sundries, no other animal products – all made palatable with slugs of ever-so-natural agave syrup… She was fretting over his attempts to sneak real fatty ice cream – but how in the world is the poor kid supposed to do his job and grow himself and, hopefully, a brain to go with, if she doesn’t let him have the wherewithal???

      From what I know, being a vegan child risks malnutrition, stunted growth, retardation, neuro damage, disease and death. Being “vegetarian” is often no better, since so many don’t know how to do it, and merely become “meat avoiders”, living on, organic or no, junk food.

      We are creating a race of hapless, ignorant stupids. And that’s everybody’s fault.

      Reply
      • avatar
        October 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm
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        But everyone knows a chocolate bar is unhealthy, even children. I’m far more concerned with the promoting and normalisation of sugar laden cereals being eaten every morning by children (with milk); even the ‘healthy’ cereals are highly processed carb bombs. When shopping, I see so much of this crappy breakfast food in the trolley….and yet these same shoppers would baulk at the idea of eating 2-3 eggs each morning – for health reasons!

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        • avatar
          October 24, 2014 at 6:40 am
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          I frequently shout at the television when breakfast cereals are advertised as a healthy start to the day for children!! I’ve checked the ‘nutrition’ (or lack thereof) labels on some of the these and the breakdown is not dissimilar to a packet of biscuits! Horrible way for kids to start their day!

          I don’t live in the UK but was there recently and horrified by the amount of pseudo-healthy processed products marketed for kids: chemical laden Fruit-Shoots, in fact everything ‘sugar free’ loaded with artificial sweeteners’, those Nature’s Valley oat bars that are probably no different ‘nutritionally’ than a packet of Hob Nobs – Big Food and their brain washing marketing has a lot to answer for!

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  • avatar
    October 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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    Thank-you Zoe,

    I have a great deal of respect for Michael Mosley but like yourself was a bit disappointed by Michael’s lack of Knowledge regarding saturated fat.
    I was shouting at the TV when he was interviewing Prof Drevon as the Professor’s was so out of date with his opinion, he made Michael look like a wee kid, shame, excellent opertunity missed.

    Keep up the good work Zoe

    Kind Regards

    Andrew

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