I hope you’ve all had a great summer and are capitalising on that ‘back to school’ feeling where we can make a fresh start, doing whatever it takes to improve our health and wellbeing.
In this newsletter, I’m focusing on clarifying some of the information that we’re constantly bombarded with regarding food and nutrition. There’s also a fantastic recipe for a cauliflower and apricot dahl, perfect as we go into autumn.
LANCET STUDY HIGHLIGHTS A LOWER CARBOHYDRATE HIGH FAT DIET MAY SUPPORT HEALTH
During initial consultations, I frequently hear how confused many of you are by all the conflicting nutritional information you come across, particularly regarding carbohydrates, protein and fats.
The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) commented recently on news reports relating to the article published online in The Lancet on 29 August 2017 relating to a study, conducted over 10 years and encompassing 135,335 individuals within 18 countries, which found that higher carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality.
Whilst BANT was delighted to note that Professor Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation has said “health officials should re-examine dietary advice, to ensure the public was getting the best message”, BANT is once again disappointed that Public Health England continues to support outdated recommendations. A PHE representative was quoted as saying, “we recommend a balanced diet based on starchy carbohydrates (50% daily intake), while reducing total fat intake and swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats.”
This new study provides an indication that the public health policy of low fat, high carbohydrate may have been erroneous. It certainly is a sign that evidence that high carbohydrate diets are not as health-promoting as the Eatwell Guide guidelines portray. In fact, to continue to support high carbohydrate diets as “balanced” is, according to the PURE study, detrimental to the general population’s health.
BANT provides the following alternative to the governments outdated Eatwell Plate.
IS COCONUT OIL HEALTHY OR NOT?
Here the Alliance of Natural Health explains…
The latest advice from the American Heart Association (AHA) proposes that we can reduce our risk of heart disease by around 30% by swapping out saturated fats (including coconut oil) for polyunsaturated fats. This is classic AHA soapbox stuff, and while appearing as a new edict based on new evidence – it’s based on old, limited evidence that has been carefully cherry-picked!
American science writer, Gary Taubes classed the AHA’s advisory as a pseudoscientific case of “Bing Crosby Epidemiology” designed to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.”
What’s more, the new advice gave the AHA the opportunity to put the boot into coconut oil, which has been widely promoted as a ‘healthy’ saturated fat, given it contains around 80% saturated fat, albeit mainly as a medium-chain triglyceride. This precipitated headlines around the world, BBC News’ “Coconut oil is as unhealthy as beef fat and butter” being a typical leader.
So, does replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat really lead to a 30% reduction in cardiovascular (CVD) risk?
In short, probably not for most people, especially if they’ve removed from their diet a healthier profile of saturated fats, such as that found in meats, butter – and yes, quality extra virgin coconut oil – and replaced it with cheap, highly processed vegetable oils, margarine and the like.
For well over a decade, researchers have increasingly questioned the relationship between high fat diets and cardiovascular disease (CVD). As early as 2004, the Journel if the American College of Cardiology rejected low fat diets for the management of CVD. As recognised in the AHA’s advisory, cutting back on dietary fats and replacing them with refined carbohydrates and sugars, which has been the common pattern among those opting for low-fat diets, clearly increases heart disease risk.
The AHA has been able to retain it’s increasingly isolated position by cherry picking evidence. However, these studies hail from the 1960s when the saturated fat profile was very different from today, 3 out of 4 studies include only men, and none include younger, healthy populations on diverse, healthy diets. The total numbers of subjects considered in the 4 studies were comparatively small.
So should you eat coconut oil or not?
Dr Mercola say that the short answer is yes, coconut oil is healthy. It’s been a dietary staple for millennia, providing high-quality fat that is important for optimal health. It supports thyroid function, normalizes insulin and leptin function, boosts metabolism and provides excellent and readily available fuel for your body in lieu of carbohydrates.
A really important benefit of coconut oil is related to the fact that the ketones your liver creates from it are the preferred fuel for your body, especially your heart and brain, and may be key for the prevention of heart disease and Alzheimers It truly is a healthy staple that belongs in everyone’s kitchen.
Coconut oil benefits the thyroid
Part of what makes processed vegetable oils so damaging to the thyroid is that they oxidize quickly and become rancid, which prevents the fatty acids from being deposited into your cells, thereby impairing the conversion of T4 to T3. This is symptomatic of hypothyroidism. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and therefore very stable and not susceptible to oxidation.
As some of you know, I am coming to the end of my wellbeing coaching course which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I have learnt so much and, once I’m qualified, I hope some of you will take advantage of a special offer I will be announcing soon…
For this newsletter, rather than focusing on a supplement, I have chosen something everyone has to use daily- soap!
I am always very keen to avoid nastly chemicals in products and this is especially important in something we are going to use many times a day.
Avalon Organics is my favourite brand for soap (and they also do great shampoos and conditioners), not only because they smells lovely, but because it is actually very reasonably priced for a natural brand of soap.
I bulk buy so I never run out and I particularly like the Peppermint but the Lemon and Lavender are lovely too.
The full range is available from The Natural Dispensary.
Avalon Organics Peppermint Hand Soap
Please visit my natural and organic online beauty store
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LILY’S CAULIFLOWER AND APRICOT DAHL
2 small onions
2 garlic cloves
1 2cm piece of ginger
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp tumeric,
1 tsp curry powder
1 head cauliflower
1 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
1 can tomatoes
1 small bag spinach
10 unsulphured apricots, chopped
let spices, onion and garlic sautee together
steam cauliflower for 10 mins
add steamed cauliflower, tomatoes, red lentils, coconut milk and apricots in with spices
add in half a cup of water
let cook for 25 mins
add spinach, letting it wilt
keep on low heat for further 5/10 mins
serve with brown rice and greek yogurt
Just a reminder that 48 hours notice should be given for cancellations in order to avoid a charge.
As many of you will know, Saturday morning appointments are in demand, so last minute cancellations for Saturdays are particularly frustrating!
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