Friday, April 8, 2016

We don't need superfoods, we need common sense!

Last night I watched some of Lateline which had a panel of three discussing sugar, soft drink and health. This morning I came across the following article:

The long read: In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar – and not fat – was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and ...

Preview by Yahoo

It certainly is a long read and I admit I scanned quite a bit of it. In doing so I found a name I was familiar with - Professor John Rudkin. When Jim ran the Slimming Clubs (bought out by Weight Watchers), he had a team of consultants working with him, including Rudkin. Rosemary Stanton was his dietician.

When Jim was first diagnosed with heart failure, doctors encouraged him to lose weight. So we moved to a low-fat diet. In our case that wasn't a problem from the sugar point of view as we cooked most things from scratch, avoiding processed foods to a large extent.

A year or two later, after another hospitalisation, we discovered that in avoiding fat we had included too much salt in his diet. Not added salt in cooking, but salty foods - pickled herrings, olives, for example. The salt was causing fluid retention throughout Jim's body, ultimately making it hard for him to breathe!

Looking back over the years, we often followed the advice from government sources for a while - the evils of eggs and butter for instance, both subsequently back on the good list.

What we need is a balanced approach, with awareness of fat, sugar and salt. Everything in moderation (with the possible exception of red wine!).

I don't think taxing soft drink will have much effect. People still smoke, don't they?

But watching the 'sugar film guy' spooning sugar onto his chicken does show people how much sugar (or worse, artificial sweetener) is put into cook-in sauces. And even more into sports' drinks.

The escalation in obesity is frightening, but I wonder, who is the next John Rudkin? Who is currently being vilified for daring to question accepted food beliefs?

I searched followed a link to an Australian dietary standard recently, only to find that it was no longer accredited. But there was no updated standard, that I could find!

We don't need superfoods, we need common sense!