Monday, 2 November 2015

Tuesday Food Blog - Low carbohydrate v low fat

Now I'm not trying to teach my 'grandmother to suck eggs' but I attended school and learnt about the human body and its dietary needs. Perhaps they don't teach that any more.

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Human evolution

From a purely dietary point of view I was taught several relevant and important facts. 

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 The human animal is an omnivore and that means we are designed to eat plants and other animals.

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For many years we have been taught that the appendix is largely vestigial and contained bacteria that aided in the digestion of cellulose found in the cell walls of plants. That definition is under question since 2003 when it was believed to be a 'safe house' for good bacteria in times of illness.

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A Balanced Diet

The above pie chart - no pun intended - was what we were taught about basic diet that humans require to maintain good health. In fact it was the announcement of yet another piece of research which sparked today's subject. Some bright spark scientists have found out that low carbohydrate diets are better than low fat diets. Thinking about it this is purely logical - just look at the chart above. We eat more carbohydrates, so eating less is easier than cutting out fats although both are possible.

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I also remember being taught that there were different types of protein - first and second class. First class proteins come from animals and contain the essential amino acids that the body can't manufacture but are required for good health. Second class proteins come from plants and although they contain some of the amino acids they don't have everything that we need.

Advice to vegetarians is to watch for signs of protein deficiency.

Also there was a warning that many girls and young women are suffering from iron deficiencies because they are not getting enough red meat. This was on the back of last week's research collated by WHO that stated that red meat and processed meat were carcinogens.

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Is it any wonder that we are in a state of hair tearing with all of this conflicting and 'fashion' driven dietary advice? 

I think I prefer to go back to the sixties advice which was to eat in proportion 3 portions of carbohydrate: to 1 portion of protein: and, 1 portion of fats.

God Bless