I'm talking about the advice peddled by governments and health professionals. Seriously, at least once a day, I find myself stunned by this and it has turned me into a bit of a preacher.
The most staggering aspect of these guidelines is that they are almost exactly wrong. If you were to list the main nuggets, you'd be better off doing the polar opposite. In fact I'll give it a go:
Some of the official guidelines (and the last lot my doctor gave me were sponsored by Flora):
- Get most of your calories from starchy carbs, not fat and protein
- Don't eat much saturated fat
- Low fat / high sugar is best
- If you've got diabetes, eat 'healthy' simple carbs, especially grains
- The 5 a day thing making no distinction between sugary fruit, sugary fruit juices and veg
- Do several hours of intense cardio a week
- Low fat spreads made by bubbling hydrogen at 200c through oils, being 'healthy'
- Animal fats being unhealthy
- Red meat is bad
- Vegetarian and vegan diets seen as healthy
- No acknowledgement of a high carb diet being almost impossible to keep under control because of the cycle of sugar rush - insulin spike - carb crave
- Low carb diets being branded as unhealthy
- The old drink loads of water for no reason - this is probably not going to hurt anybody but it's still nonsense
- Our friend the super-duper healthy high fiber breakfast, such as your muesli
- 'Natural' sugars somehow being seen by the body as somehow different from other sugars, which is largely untrue
- Obesity is caused by eating too much fatty food, too much sugary food (true) and inactivity and not by carbs and the fat storing effects of insulin
Then there's the misconceptions about saturated fat causing heart disease through atherosclerosis and not through a high carb out of control diet. Then the related misconceptions about raised cholesterol levels being the root of all evil including global terrorism.
I am a recent convert, 1 year in, so I'll get over it. At least I hope so because I've got very boring and also quite lean. Yeah! F you health officials! I'm going to sell your statins on the blackmarket and spend the money on lard and beef dripping!
I hope they carry on though, because I'll have no soap box to stand on if the nutritional advice revolution comes.