January 2010

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Having been away on holiday for a week, I woke up this morning feeling relaxed and happy with the world. Switching on to Radio Five Live, as I made my morning coffee, I heard Dr Shyam Kolvekar suggesting to the British public that we should all give up butter to reduce the risk of death from cardio vascular disease and immediately my stress levels rose again!
The delightful Shyam Kolvekar quoted a Finnish Nurses Study as the irrefutable evidence of the link between saturated fats and death from heart disease. Since this so called pinnacle study there have been many more clinical trials that have fundamentally questioned the link between saturated fats and heart disease. For example just recently the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism published a report on Fats and Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition which was part of an Expert Consultation held by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organisation.
There was two types of studies reviewed – epidemiological (statistical association studies) and intervention studies. Looking at the epidemiological studies first it was concluded that “Intake of saturated fatty acids was not significantly associated Cardiovascular Heart Disease mortality (deaths) “ and “ Saturated Fatty Acids was not significantly associated with Cardio Vascular Disease events “ (such as heart attacks etc )
The intervention studies – which is where they actually compare people on low fat with those not on low fat diets the conclusion was “ fatal cardiovascular disease is not reduced by low fat diets”
But this week there was another significant study published which looked at 21 epidemiological studies and the conclusion was
No association between saturated fat and risk of heart disease and no association between saturated fats and risk of stroke.
So you have to wonder why our friend the heart surgeon is referring to a very old study which has been superseded by many more accurate and significant studies. When you look at his expertise there is no indication that he has a special interest in diet or fat metabolism.

18 January 2010

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Happy New Year
Well as the world returns to reality after our seasonal break ( well earned and much enjoyed) it was confusing to see the Marks and Spencer’s New Fuller Longer Range announced on the second of January. Surely it is not the first of April so soon?
At first I was delighted. Finally a big corporate has switched on to the fact that protein is a very critical part of the human diet and a key tool for fat loss. I then went on to read that the New M&S range also was carb controlled…whatever that means. Wow was my first reaction.
I then took the trouble to read what was in the new meals!!!! New being the operative word. Well very little was new. Protein had been increased on average by a couple of grams and in some cases the carbs had been increased. Poor old M&S. Do they think we are stupid and that we will simply read their press announcements and not actually check what is in the meals?
To suggest that these meals are significantly different, nutritionally, from any other meals they produce is misleading and to put it bluntly naughty. They also are confusing the whole high protein debate. Any shopper who thinks that the MS new range is high protein will be completely wrong. The piece de resistance was to compare these meals and this dietary programme to Atkins. Poor Dr Atkins must be rolling in his grave. I do hope his wife and the Atkins Foundation brings an action against M&S…I will drop her office a line on this.
Happy New Year!

Clearly it is a new year but the same old message …Mislead the public as much as you can and then flog as much as you can.

4 January 2010

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