Friday, December 31, 2010

Dr. Briffa's Christmas List

I am catching up on blog reading after taking a Christmas break to my parents' farm. I have a few things to post about, when I'm done updating my jewellery store, but this particular post by Dr. Briffa was too perfect a reminder of the knowledge we should take into a happy and healthy new year:
1.     For weight loss, neither ‘eating less’ nor ‘exercising more’ appears to work particularly well in the long term. While the calorie-principle has underpinned weight loss advice for some decades, its application in the real world has, generally speaking, been a crashing failure.

2.     Low-fat diets are not effective, overall, for weight loss either (despite what most doctors, dieticians and health agencies would have us believe).

3.     Low-carbohydrate diets generally outperform low-fat diets for weight loss, and also lead to greater improvements in a number of disease markers including triglyceride levels, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and measures of inflammation.

4.     Low-carb diets have the potential to improve blood sugar control in diabetics, and often lead to much lower requirements for medication, and quite-often, the ability to dispence with medication altogether.

5.     Lower-carb diets tend to be more satisfying than higher-carb, low-fat ones, which means individuals quite naturally tend to eat less (sometimes a lot less) without hunger.

6.     There is no good evidence that saturated fat (found, for example, in meat and dairy products) causes heart disease.

7.     There is no good evidence that eating less saturated fat has benefits for health.

8.     There is no good evidence that taking dietary steps to reduce cholesterol has broad benefits for health.

9.     There is no good evidence that margarine is healthier than butter (and at least some evidence exists which suggests quite the reverse).

10.  There is no good evidence that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame promote weight loss, and considerable evidence exists which suggests they have the potential for adverse effects on health.

11.  There is no good evidence that insoluble fibre (e.g. bran) has benefits for health.

12.  Fructose is not a ‘healthy sugar’, and despite the fact that it does not raise blood sugar levels in the short term, it nonetheless has the capacity to damage health.

13.  The consumption of dairy products is not required for good bone health (we did fine without it for over 2 million years, by the way).

14.  Not all of the nutritional information we get is in our best interests, and is often driven by a motivation for profit. That’s one of the reasons why, some of the time, there can be a yawning abyss between what we’ve been told repeatedly for decades and the truth of the matter as revealed in the science.
If I hear anyone I love talking about their weight-loss resolutions, I know where I'll be sending them.

1 comment:

Tim said...