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This topic is fast becoming the hottest talked about subject this year due to many renowned scientists and doctors now supporting this theory and abandoning the ‘high carb low fat’ health advice.
Evidence from many years ago is now thought to be wrong and was missinterpreted hence, why people are not getting slimmer but instead getting fatter. Since food companies swapped fat for sugar obesity levels have continued to increase even with the abundance of healthy eating advice available.
Having read a few books and now articles such as this one below, I am a converted ‘high carb low fat’ to a ‘low carb high fat’ consumer and I strongly believe that this is the way to move forward with health advice but as and when things will change, awaits to be seen.
I would be interested to know your thoughts on this subject especially if you disagree.
Scientists in the US, Norway and South Korea have been studying 1099 people over 40 years old over a period of 10 years carrying out frequent blood tests for 7 of the most dangerous pollutants. Including DDE, a pesticide linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s and PCB169, a toxin linked to the brain and nervous system.
These levels were higher in people who had lost weight and it is suggested these chemicals are released from fatty tissue increasing the concentration of POPs (Persistant organic pollutants). Meaning, they could reach critical organs through circulation. These POPs are found in electrical goods, pesticides, food, especially animal fats.
Stored in fatty tissue they are believed to cause little harm but if released into the blood could increase the risk of cancer. Britain have been phasing out POPs since 2001 and levels in food have declined but it could take decades for them to break down. Another study also suggests that losing weight quickly increases the body’s production of stress hormones increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Obviously losing weight has many benefits but studies like this one show that balance is important and losing weight very quickly on fad diets and not following good advise could lead to further problems later in life.
There is still so much to learn about the body and cancer and I fully support cancer charity’s that research the possible causes of cancer. We are told that pretty much everything causes cancer these days but having information about research published in the media helps people to make informed decisions.
Last night I watched a very interesting program I recorded ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’. A very interesting documentary about new research that suggests a calorie restricted diet could be the answer to reducing obesity and increasing our life expectancy without predominant western diseases. Research is still continuing in this area but so far scientists have found links when testing the diet on mice that their longevity increases.
How does it work then? Well during the great depression in the 1930’s life expectancy increased by 6 years…diets were restricted! So using this theory scientists began a trial. Humans have a growth hormone called IGF-1. This hormone is thought to be responsible for our ever-increasing obese population. Basically, when humans eat too much or more than the body needs IGF-1 kicks in because the body thinks it has the fuel it needs and so cells increase, but unless you are young and still growing we do not need high levels of IGF-1 and evidence shows that high levels of IGF-1 are linked to cancer, diabetes and other nasty illnesses. IGF-1 is produced by the liver especially when high levels of protein are eaten. New cells are produced because of IGF-1 which may sound like a good thing but it increases the chances of the body becoming sick. When protein levels are reduced IGF-1 reduces and the body begins to repair itself.
Scientists believe that by fasting (not eating or eating very little) this decreases IGF-1 significantly and the body begins to use fat cells for energy instead which not only helps a person lose weight but ‘believe it or not’ makes them healthier. Mice scientifically developed to have Alzheimer’s disease were put through fasting once a month and the results showed that the mice did not develop Alzheimer’s until later in their life much later than they would normally have developed it which in turn increased their longevity. More significantly was the fact that the mice developed new brain cells…all due to not being allowed to eat for a couple of times a month.
Michael Mosley, BBC presenter, decided to give the fasting a try due his own health indicators being somewhat worrying. He had high IGF-1 levels and 27% body fat amongst other things. He tried the three-day fast and managed it but felt he could not achieve this level of fasting every month, however, after the three-day fast his IGF-1 levels reduced significantly by 50% proving the theory works. He visited two other scientists all working on the same theory but trialling different levels of fasting and decided to give the 5:2 fast diet a go. You eat normally for five days i.e. advisory calorie intake per day and then for two days you reduce your calorie intake to about 500 for women and 600 for men. Michael did this for five weeks and in that time his results showed that his IGF-1 levels had reduced drastically, he lost over a stone in weight and his body fat % reduced from 27 to 19% as well as reducing his cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Pretty impressive.
Michael believes this could be the answer to obesity and western disease, obviously more research is needed but it is a very interesting theory and worth a try if you too are feeling the affects of bad diet and lack of exercise!
This program can be watched on BBC iplayer which I recommend to fill you in on the small details I have probably left out.