New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Why calorie food labelling is a nonsense

In Do Calories Really Count? I discussed some of the flaws in calorie-counting. This article looks at another aspect of the misleading idea of calorie counting.

Food labelling is useless

Throughout the civilised world, despite vast sums of mioney being spent on education, obesity rates are rocketing. In an attempt to curb this trend, countries are formulating a wide range of anti-obesity measures, all of which which concentrate on the failed 'calories-in/calories-out' scam.

What they have been doing so far has made the problem worse. In this situation, you might think the calorie-counting proponents would stop, read and reassess the evidence which shws that they, themselves, are to blame, and have a rethink about their advice. But, of course, they don't! The 'calories in must equal calories out' mantra is written in tablets of stone and cannot be changed, no matter what the evidence to the contrary shows.

So, they think that as their message is correct then it must be the way the public is told which is ineffective. WE HAVE TO FIND A BETTER WAY TO LET PEOPLE KNOW!!!

The latest wheeze is to concentrate on labelling foods — to tell people how many calories there are in a particular product by a variety of means such as straight calorie counts to a system of 'traffic lights': RED, YELLOW and GREEN spots for HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW amounts of ingredients believed (usually incorrectly) to cause weight gain.

How many calories are there in a food?

But this introduces more nonsense. Supermarkets select fruits to be exactly the same size, shape and colour, which means that any that don't fit are usually wasted (but that's another matter), no two fruits will have exactly the same calorie count or content. Green bananas, for example, are mainly starch, while ripe bananas have more sugar. This affects the ratios of glucose and fructose which is absorbed from the digestion.

It is the same with meat products: no two, even the same weight, can be guaranteed to have identical amounts of fats or protein.

The figures are wrong!

But there is an even bigger problem: The World health Organization tells us that Carbs have 4kcals/gram; Protein has 4kcals/gram; Fibre has 0kcals per gram; and Fats are 9kcals/gram, right?

No, it isn't right; it's actually quite wrong!

Calories in foods

Fats (kcals/g)
  • Polyunsaturated oils . .9.1
  • Animal fats . . . . . . . 6.5 – 8.0
  • Cocoa butter . . . . . . 5.5

The calorific content of fats and oils depends on their degree of saturation. 9kcals/gram is a reasonable estimate if we are talking about sunflower cooking oil or vegetable margarine, but as fats become more saturated, they are less well absorbed and provide fewer calories.

So, if you are counting calories, not only will you be miles out with animal fats and tropical oils, the fats to beware of are the unsaturated vegetable oils, not saturated fats. If you are counting calories, saturated fats are best!

Carbohydrates (kcals/g)
  • Sugars . . . . . . . . . .4.0 – 4.2
  • Starch . . . . . . . . . . 4.44

With carbohydrates, the differences between sugars and starches is not as great as it is with the different fats. Nevertheless, as sugars are less calorific than starches, it makes a nonsense of advice to cut down on sugar and eat more starchy foods.

Vegetable fibre (kcals/g)
  • Insoluble fibre . . . . . . . 0
  • Soluble fibre . . . . . . . . .2
Vegetable fibre is supposed to have no calories. For this reason, fibre is ommitted or discounted when counting calories. Well, this might work with insoluble fibre, but it doesn't with 'healthy' soluble fibre. If you are doing what you are told and eating a fibre-rich diet to fill you up, you could be consuming far more calories than you bargain for.

Lars A Carlson; Sven Lindstedt. The Stockholm prospective study. 1: The initial values for plasma lipids Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, 1968
Apgar JL, Shively CA, Tarka SM. Digestibility of cocoa butter and corn oil and their influence on fatty acid distribution in rats. J Nutr 1987;117: 660-665

So any label that uses the 4 : 4 : 9 figures when trying to work out the calorific value of a food or meal which contains a variety of ingredients is bound to be wrong — in other words, useless! Is it any wonder that calorie counting is a complete waste of time!

The real problem we have these days is that government health officials and the nutritionists they depend on are incompetent. Perhaps it is not their fault as they are not taught the basic tools they need if they are to give useful, healthy advice. But, that said, they must surely be able to see that their advice is not working, so you might think they should wonder why instead of blithely trotting out the same inaccurate and misleading nutritional garbage over and over again.

Related Articles

Do Calories Really Count? Looks at the way nutritionists mislead by inaccurately quoting the laws of physics

Last updated 11 April 2012