Over last week there was a great deal of diet chat over the airways in regard to red meat and the regular returning fear of cancer.
This excitement was triggered by a recommendation by SACN (the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition) who had decided in their ultimate wisdom that notwithstanding the fact that we have evolved to eat meat in large quantities, this food is probably bad for us.
Now before we go into the studies that the SACN relied upon to make their announcement you have to remember that this same committee also announced that low fat is good for us and that eggs are bad for us. Both these pronouncements have been quietly forgotten and no doubt in due course the latest proclamation will also be lost from the website.
When taking advice from any individual you need to look at their track record of evaluating and providing advice and the track record for SACN is poor. The damage that the low fat message has done to the UK population is beyond calculation and there can be no doubt that the messages released by SACN have directly contributed to the obesity epidemic.
So what are these studies that tell us red meat is going to cause cancer? Are they clinical trials or are they epidemiological and if epidemiological have they been supported with smaller clinical trials…Well you can guess the answer to this.
And what adds insult to injury is that the NHS website also then recommends that we get iron from our cereal in the morning. Well let’s all be clear that the iron found in cereal packets has been added by the big cereal companies. Why don’t we just hand out vitamins and minerals in capsules to the British population to avoid eating whole unprocessed food?
Recommendation by SACN in 2011
Eat cardboard and take tablets for your minerals and vitamins
Whilst I normally restrict my ranting now to the office I have to blog on this today before I forget.
Yesterday in the US two organisations, in very different ways, announced a move to a low carb diet, Harvard Centre for Public Health and secondly American Diabetes Association, which is the US equivalent to Diabetes UK.
Harvard (a centre of excellence in public health and nutrition) announced that the US should end the low fat message. Walter Willet, Professor of Nutrition at Harvard told the food industry that we must stop making low fat foods because they are full of carbs.
In the same week the ADA made some pretty radical changes to their dietary advice pages but did not announce anything. They simply made some significant changes. Up till now the basic message has been the same as Diabetes UK which I attach below for all to see. I have copied it onto my blog so that we can all remember what is and was being said to the millions of diabetics across the UK and the US for the past 15 years.
Having supported a high carb low fat message for the past 15 years, the American Diabetes Association has now decided that it is each man for himself and that there is no one diet to suit all. Indeed it emphasises that the critical issue is keeping blood glucose levels stable and refers people to one of the best known low carbers of all time, Dr Bernstein.
There is also an article called “Eating With Diabetes: 3 Approaches” lists the low-carb approach first, and then follows with “Moderate-Carb” and “Vegan/High-Carb”. It should be highlighted that the three approaches are labelled by reference to their carb content which shows that finally the ADA has linked the illness of diabetes with the intake of carbs. Thank god – they have finally read the science. Indeed it was re assuring to read the statement;
“Understanding the effect of carbohydrate on blood glucose levels is key to managing diabetes. The carbohydrate in food makes blood glucose levels go up.”
Finally they are getting to grips with the issue of diabetes. But let us not forget where the problem started and who should be responsible for sorting the mess out!