This week, we summarize the top five news articles and studies in the low-carb realm, plus the wall of shame.
- The much anticipated EAT-Lancet report dropped last week, and it said pretty much what it was expected to say — that the world population must drastically cut meat and dairy consumption, replacing those calories with legumes, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This switch is purportedly necessary for both personal and planetary health. Countering this sweeping pronouncement are those interested in adequate nutrition and regenerative agriculture. Like Dr. Georgia Ede writing in Psychology Today and Diana Rogers, RD writing on her blog, Sustainable Dish. This is just the beginning of a long and contentious conversation, so read up and buckle up.
- How important is fiber? And fiber-packed whole grains? A highly publicized analysis released last week in the journal The Lancet looked at carbohydrate quality and found that dietary fiber is protective against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. It shouldn’t surprise any of us that cutting out processed foods like white bread, cookies, cakes and sugary beverages and replacing those foods with high-fiber carbohydrates like whole-grain, unsweetened cereal or wheat berry pilaf will lead to health improvements. That says nothing about swapping out whole-food, low-carb staples like vegetables, olive oil, and meat or fish with whole-grain products. (Pssst… most low-carb diets aren’t low in fiber.)
- A new study published in JAMA (and out of the University of California San Diego and Emory University schools of medicine) shows that adolescents with diagnosed fatty liver disease who cut out added sugars, but do little else to change their diets, can quickly improve their health, reducing liver fat by 31% on average in just two months. How wonderful that children’s health can recover so quickly from some of the damage done by sugary foods.
- Can your email help change the dietary guidelines? We hope so. Please write one. Boring, yes. Important? Very. The dietary guidelines are so far-reaching that they affect all of us, even when we are ignoring them.
- Canada disappoints with a new food guide that still recommends a low-fat, high-carb diet. There were a few improvements, like eliminating fruit juice, added sugar, refined grains and most processed foods. But the dogmatic insistence on whole grains persists, and the on-trend move away from meat and dairy defies logic, given the undeniable nutrient density of those traditional foods.
Wall of shame
- How low can Kellogg’s go in its race to the top of the “breakfast is dessert” cadre? Very low. Introducing Peeps, a marshmallow-flavored cereal, as disgusting as the candy upon which it is based. Just in time for Easter. 🙄
- Hostess expands into breakfast cereal with the help of Post, a leader in shamelessly sweet cereal options. The Twinkies will have to wait to be “cerealized”… Up first, Donettes and Honey Buns.
- Nightfood brand ice cream. Specifically designed for those late-night trips to the freezer. No joke. What will they think of next?
- “Limited edition” Strawberry Shortcake Sugar Cookies by Pillsbury. Just what the world needs: another cheap, processed cookie. And it’s oversized, too. Perfect.
- Pepsi’s new marketing tagline: “For the love of it.” Vague pronoun, “it”? How about “For the love of God don’t drink this swill” instead?
- PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division introduces Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho… because everybody loves a flavor mash-up, especially those partial to processed food in foil bags.
- PETA shocks with a cover-your-eyes-vulgar campaign that suggests going vegan is important for virility. Of course, it offers zero evidence to back this up. 🤯
- Kraft Heinz makes fun of porn addiction to sell its “addictive” new line of frozen meals, Devour. The ad will run in the Super Bowl. Huh? Neither funny nor appetizing.
Do you understand your cholesterol numbers? How much protein should you eat for a longer life? Are eggs linked to higher or lower rates of type 2 diabetes? Do we need a moonshot for diabetes prevention? What do we know about the 19th century’s men-only fat clubs that celebrated obesity? How can one small nation export sooooo much butter? Why is turning butter back into cream a math problem?
Tune in next week!