Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 21st 2015 Contents A24
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 21, 2015
Everything we thought we knew about eating
and drinking healthily may be turned on its head.
A new study in the British Medical Journal showed
that---after all we have been told to the contrary---
saturated fat is good for you. Far from being the great
risk to our health and hearts, it turns out that most
people who eat butter, milk, cream and full-fat
yoghurts generally have better heart health, less risk
of Type 2 diabetes, and are even slimmer than those
who eat fat-free.
Now experts are saying instead that carbohydrates
are the real killer.
So what can we safely eat these days? And what
had we better avoid? Here, the experts give their
What the line has been: Avoid butter at all costs
and replace with low-fat polyunsaturated spreads.
What we now know: Butter can be good for you
in small amounts.
"We used to think that if you ate saturated fat, it
raised your cholesterol levels and increased your risk
of heart attack," says Dr Michael Mosley, the science
journalist. "It turns out that dairy fats don t work
like that in your bloodstream. When you look at all
the big studies, the proof that butter is bad for you
isn t there.
Recommended amount: A moderate amount, which
may even do you good.
What the line has been: Better to drink semi-
skimmed or skimmed.
What we now know: Full-fat is fine to drink. It
is still less than four per cent fat and contains some
healthy fats. "People have this misconception that
full-fat milk is fattening, but we are not big milk
drinkers in the UK and we know that just because
a food is fatty doesn t mean it s always bad for you,
as there are different types of fats," says Mel Wakeman,
a senior lecturer in nutrition at Birmingham City
Recommended amount: Half a pint of full-fat milk
a day is fine---one serving (250ml) will provide around
one third of your calcium intake.
What the line has been: Eggs are full of cholesterol
and you should limit your intake.
What we now know: "Eggs are full of all sorts of
nutrients and vitamins, and are very good for you.
They are rich in protein, so may also keep you fuller
for longer and help with appetite control."
Recommended amount: Three times a week.
What the line has been: Carbohydrates should
make up 50 per cent of your food intake.
What the line is now: "I m a big supporter of car-
bohydrates," says Mrs Wakeman, "but try to choose
wholegrain. White spaghetti, bread and rice are not
our friends in large quantities. Too many simple car-
bohydrates put us at increased risk of obesity, heart
problems, Type 2 diabetes and cancer."
Recommended amount: Starchy carbohydrates
should make up 50 per cent of your calorie intake.
What the line has been: Fine in moderation.
What the line is now: There are strong links
between eating processed meat and the risk of heart
attacks, bowel cancer and strokes. "Processed meats,
including bacon, sausages, parma ham, ham and
salami, have a very high salt content and the act of
processing itself is associated with an increase of
heart disease, bowel cancer and stroke," says Dr
Michael Mosley. "One esteemed scientist I know
called Dr David Spiegelhalter told me that if you
crunch the numbers, every bacon sandwich you eat
knocks half an hour off your life."
What you can and can't eat
Recommended amount: A couple of
times a week if you really have to---but
What the line has been: Red meat
is bad for you. What the line is now:
Red meat from grass-fed animals can
be good for you. "If you look at Amer-
ican studies, there does seem to be evi-
dence of a small increase of risk to your
heart from eating red meat, but when
you look at similar studies from Europe
there is no link," says Dr Mosley. "This
is probably because American meat is
reared on concrete lots, fed corn and
given a lot of antibiotics and growth
hormones, whereas beef in Europe is
often fed on grass and hasn t been
pumped full of all the bad stuff."
Recommended amount: 3-4oz or
100g three or four times a week is fine.
Full-fat milk is fine
to drink and eggs
are full of all sorts
of nutrients and
vitamins that are
very good for you.
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
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