We think we know what to eat: less red meat and more fibre, less saturated fat and more fruit and veg, right? Wrong, according to a controversial new book by nutritionist Zoe Harcombe.
In the book, Harcombe charts her meticulous journey of research into studies that underpin dietary advice — and her myth-busting conclusions are startling.
Myth: Fat is bad for us
‘Real fat is not bad for us,’ says ?Harcombe. ‘It’s man-made fats we should be demonising. Why do we have this idea that meat is full of saturated fat? In a
‘Fat is essential for every cell in the body. In Britain [according to the Family Food Survey of 2008, we are deficient in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, which are responsible for healthy eyesight, bone strength, mental health, cancer and blood vessel protection and, therefore, heart health. We need to eat real fat in order for these vital vitamins to be absorbed into the body.’
Myth: We should eat more fibre
For three decades, we have crammed fibre into our bodies to help us feel full and keep our digestive systems moving. This is not a good idea, says Harcombe.
The advice to eat more fibre is put forward along with the theory that we need to flush out our ?digestive systems. But essential minerals are absorbed from food while it is in the intestines, so why do we want to flush everything out? Concentrate on not putting bad foods in.
Myth: You need to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day
‘Five-a-day is the most well-known piece of nutritional advice,’ says ?Harcombe. ‘You’d think it was based on firm evidence of health benefit. Think again!
‘Five-a-day started as a marketing campaign by 25 fruit and veg companies and the American National Cancer Institute in 1991. There was no evidence for any cancer benefit.’
Myth: Fruit and veg are the most nutritious things to eat
Apparently not. Harcombe allows that vegetables are a great addition to the diet — if served in butter to deliver the fat-soluble vitamins they contain — but ?fructose, the fruit sugar in fruit, goes straight to the liver and is stored as fat.
Fruit is best avoided by those trying to lose weight, says Harcombe, who adds: ‘Vitamins and minerals in animal foods — meat, fish, eggs and dairy products — beat those in fruit hands down.’
(Source from e.iciba.com)