Archive | Food

The Beginning and End of the Fear of Fat

 
bfs

This is the book that contributes to finally dismissing the old fear of fat. When the book The Big Fat Surprise came out in June last year, major American newspapers praised it. It has become a New York Times  best seller and The Wall Street Journal appointed it one of the best books of the year.

This book redefines food for many influential people and the fear of fat is losing its grip on the world.

Finally, I too have read the book. It’s a big book that initially is very similar to the fantastic Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007). But once you’ve read the first chapters you realize that this book is so much more. It’s an updated version with a somewhat different focus – and for most readers probably far more entertaining, clarifying and upsetting.

This is the definitive story on how fear of fat was based on how ambitious researchers and well-meaning politicians took short cuts and ignored the lack of real evidence. And as gigantic economic interests entered the picture things went very wrong.

The Problem with Fear of Fat

We know the result: instead of harmless fat – that we’ve been unnecessarily afraid of – people began to eat more sugar, wheat flour and other refined carbohydrates, which increase the fat-storing hormone insulin. Voilá: an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

The book also goes in detail through the tragicomic and terrifying hunt for a replacement for natural saturated fat. Continue Reading →

comments27

The Quest for the Eggless Egg

Eggs or not eggs?

Eggs or non-eggs?

What if there were an egg that wasn’t an egg? Scientists in the US are trying to create a plant-based “egg” for vegans. The current version contains half a dozen ingredients, mainly pea protein, but is not getting high grades from chefs:

TIME: Eggless Eggs Exist and This Is What They Taste Like

I myself don’t fancy industrially produced ersatz eggs with many secret ingredients, a taste of “grass” and a chef rating of 5/10. I see no health reasons either.

Those who are not vegans can safely eat regular, good old eggs, at least as long as the chickens have been treated well (egg production only aiming for cheap eggs quickly becomes unethical).

Eggs have developed to perfection over millions of years of evolution. There is no more nutritious food and the old 80’s fear of cholesterol has proven completely unfounded. Eggs provide a good cholesterol profile, good weight and a good blood sugar. Proper health and nutrition pills!

So how many eggs can you eat without risking that it turns harmful? I’ll say what I usually say: Preferably eat no more than 36 eggs per day.

How many do you eat?

Continue Reading →

comments23

Swedes Eating More Eggs than Ever in the Summer

iStock_000019400127Small-800x515

Swedes are eating more and more eggs over the summer. According to a press release from the Swedish Egg Board, the statistics show a 20-percent increase in a few years.

The average Swede is said to eat 38 eggs over the ten weeks after midsummer solstice. Which leads to the obvious question:

How many eggs will you have this summer?

Continue Reading →

comments13

Across the Pacific Ocean Without Sugar or Other Junk Carbohydrates

14-svyle-18256653b3d36caa057-800x450

I’ve received many emails about this: A Finnish couple is rowing across the Pacific Ocean in protest against sugar and other bad carbohydrates. Their “Fat Chance Row” goes from California to Hawaii, which they’re hoping to reach in August.

You won’t find any pasta-loading on this row – they are eating real food, such as “dried meat, nuts, coconut butter and dried fruit, things that will keep at high temperatures”.

USA Today: Couple test food and each other on row to Hawaii

The expedition’s webpage: Fatchancerow.org

The words “Fat Chance” are from the title of professor Robert Lustig’s book about the dangers of sugar. The expedition is done in collaboration with his recently-launched organization Institute for Responsible Nutrition.

This is where the couple is now:

Skärmavbild-2014-07-08-kl.-11.42.02-800x391

comments23

If Natural Foods Came with an Ingredient List

egg4

What would an ingredient list for a natural food look like? James Kennedy, a chemistry teacher from Australia, has looked into this. Above is a list of the ingredients in an all-natural egg, including all the main chemical compounds.

Kennedy’s point is that “chemicals” are everywhere, nature is built with chemical substances. Therefore, our fear of food additives etc. isn’t necessarily reasonable. He has a point, except that the ingredient list for junk food would make up a whole book, if you were to list all the components of each ingredient.

However, the risk with industrially processed foods is not only that they consist of “chemical substances”. The problem with processed foods is that their compositions are new and contain…

  • substances that previously barely existed in nature (like the artificial sweetener aspartame)
  • excessive amounts of added substances that were previously rare (pure sugar, for example)
  • too little of important substances that previously were more common (for example fiber)
  • a clever combination of properties/substances that makes it extremely difficult to stop eating (addictive).

The problem is that while we humans are well adapted genetically to most of the foods we’ve eaten for millions of years, our bodies are not adapted to new industrial junk food. It’s an ongoing and increasingly risky experiment. Not only because the food contains “chemicals”, but because of its new chemical composition to which we’re not adapted.

Here are some more examples of natural products from Kennedy: Continue Reading →

comments19