Fats and Carbs

Once again experts are passionately disagreeing about the proper role of saturated fats and carbohydrates in the diet. The latest volley comes from a full-scale critique published in the BMJ of proposed new U.S. dietary guidelines.
The author of the critique, Nina Teicholz, is the author of 
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. In both the book and the BMJ article, Teicholz maintains that the evidence against saturated fat and low carb diets is weak. The new guidelines, Teicholz claims, fail to fix old mistakes.

"Given the growing toll taken by these conditions and the failure of existing strategies to make meaningful progress in fighting obesity and diabetes to date, one might expect the guideline committee to welcome any new, promising dietary strategies," said Teicholz, in a BMJ press release. Yet the committee largely sticks to the same advice it has given for decades – to eat less saturated fat (in meat and full-fat dairy products) and more plant foods for good health, she claims.
There's an excellent 
summary of the article and the controversy in MedPage Today. Parker Brown interviews two experts, Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, of NYU, and David Katz, MD, of Yale, who strongly defend the guidelines. I had previously asked several experts to comment on the study and ended up receiving responses from two, both of whom take the opposite position and are critical of the guidelines.
Arne Astrup, MD, DMSc, of the University of Copenhagen, wrote that "the committee seems to be completely dissociated from the top level scientific community, and unaware of the most updated evidence. There are now several new meta-analysis of both observational studies and also of randomized controlled trials clearly showing that there is no benefit of reducing saturated fat in the diet. All analyses and research can be criticized, but these meta-analyses have been published in leading scientific journals typically after critical reviews by three to five independent scientists (including a statistician), and by expert editors, so they cannot and should not be dismissed so easily."
Equally important, wrote Astrup, is "that the scientific studies that were the basis for the 'cut down on saturated fat' recommendations have been re-evaluated, and it is quite clear that today we would have concluded that there is no robust evidence to substantiate the advice."
"The same," he continued, "applies to the importance of carbohydrate amount and source. Reducing total carbs or selecting the low glycemic index carbohydrates are well documented tools to produce weight loss and treat type 2 diabetes, and there is quite good evidence for efficacy and safety."

James DiNicolantonio, PharmD, of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., wrote that "first and foremost, we shouldn't be focusing on specific nutrients, we should be focusing on food. People eat food, not isolated food components (e.g., saturated fat), so telling them to restrict saturated fat to less than 10% doesn't tell them what they should/should not be eating. That's probably the biggest problem with our Dietary Guidelines today."
"The second problem is that when you demonize one nutrient (saturated fat), you end up replacing it with something else, and we know when fat was replaced with refined carbs/added sugars in the '80s and '90s, larger waistlines and more diabetes was the result for Americans."
"Problem three is that there was never any evidence to demonize saturated fat per se back in 1977 in the original Dietary Goals..."
DiNicolantonio was also highly critical of the committee's selective use of evidence to support the preferential use of polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.
"What our dietary guidelines should be saying," wrote DiNicolantonio, "is 'eat real food as close to nature intended as possible'. Meaning we should be eating foods that are naturally available, not processed in an industrial factory."

5 + 2 Diet


Heard of this diet?-also called intermittent fasting, it promises both weight loss and long term health benefits such as reducing heart disease and dementia
More concrete evidence is pending.
Personally I think this is not for everyone- faced with a day of fasting can be a bit depressing but for some its easy and convenient as well as effective once you get the hang of it and cope with the hunger (apparently this doesnt kill us but makes us stronger??).

I guess what I do like about this diet, is that it says its okay to be hungry. In fact we may be designed to fast..our cave men ancestors may have spent quite alot of their life fasting - between mammoths !

Eating/ snacking frequently has become the norm now  with an avereage of 3 and a half hours between eating occasions! Effective marketing by the food industry means hunger is viewed as bad and evil - recall the snickers ads, and we need/deserve frequent high fat high sugar snacks.
It always impresses me how slim these people are in the adds eating this food... you dont see any people struggling with their weight in coke or cadbury ads.

With any change in your diet, it has to work for you and fit in with your lifestyle.. so maybe this will work for you?


On the fast days -2 days per week- women eat 500 calories and men 600.These days can be together or separate. If counting calories is not for you then 2 days no carbs per week is another way of doing this diet.

Exercise on the fast days is encouraged as it can help speed up the weight loss.

Alcohol on fast days is not recommended as these are empty calories, and can make the hunger worse.

It is best to save the calories for high protein nutrient dense food which will reduce the hunger, which apparently you can get used to.. 

Again this is not for everyone.. definitely not for pregnant breastfeeding or people with diabetes or for those with eating disorders or those recovering from surgery.



2 hardboiled eggs

vegetable soup
1 slice high fibre bread no butter


 steamed assorted vegetables- brocolli spinach and cauliflower
protein-steamed fish or baked chicken no skin-180 g

for men add another 90g protein

black coffee allowed


pumpkin 500g
spinach 1/2 packet or 1 large bunch
brocolli- 1 head
kale-1 small bunch

2 l water plus 2 cups stock

1 onion

saute onion in water w salt then add water stock and vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste. 
Simmer until pumpkin cooked, then blend.

250ml = 1 serve

The Healthy Weight Clinic


The clinic is designed to approach, achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet, lifestyle and excercise and if indicated, medication and/or surgery. An individual holistic approach is used in this three month programme. The individual must be motivated to lose weight, must be prepared to visit us weekly to monitor progress for the next three months and must have a body mass index of 30 or over. To calculate your body mass index, it is weight over your height in metres squared. Any problems calculating that, please email us back with your height and weight and we can calculate it for you.

Prior to the first assessment, participants are required to keep a seven day diary of all they eat and drink, a seven day diary of all exercise, including housework and do a blood test which is non-fasting. If you decide to attend we will email you the relevant forms, and leave a lab form at reception to collect.

The initial assessment is 30 minutes on Tuesday afternoon between 1.30 and 3.00pm. Individual practical advice on diet and exercise, plus a referral to a Green Prescription, if needed will be offered with comprehensive up to date information on weight loss. Monitoring will be 1-2 weeks, depending on needs and this will be done with Tracy, our practice nurse and then, a monthly review with Dr Cushla Borthwick. At the end of three months, depending on needs, a maintenance programme can be designed.

Visits to the doctor, the first visit will cost $17.50 and monthly visits with Dr Cushla Borthwick will be $17.50. Visits for monitoring and progress with our nurse, Tracy Steuart will be $12.00

If this is of interest to you, please email us on nurse@gbmc.co.nz and Tracy will contact you with the information.

Cushla Borthwick and Tracy Steuart.