02-Nov-2015 21:18
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Truth about dating a med student

Opening the conference was Gary Taubes, a former Harvard physicist who wrote The Diet Delusion, in which he argued that it is refined carbohydrates that are responsible for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many other of our Western maladies.After a two year review involving 16 scientists, it concluded that a high fat, low carb diet may not only be best for weight loss, but also for reducing several markers of cardiovascular risk in the obese.

Like this one: for every 1mg/dl per year drop in cholesterol levels in those who took part in the study there was a 14 per cent increase in cardiovascular death and an 11 per cent increase in mortality in the following 18 years for those aged over 50.It’s an instruction that is sometimes greeted with open-mouthed astonishment, along with my request to steer clear of anything that promises to reduce cholesterol – another of those edicts we are told can promote optimum heart and artery health.As we will see, the reality is far more nuanced: in some cases lowering cholesterol levels can actually increase cardiovascular death and mortality, while in healthy people over 60 a higher cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of mortality. In it, Lustig, a Professor of Paediatrics who also works at the University of California’s Centre for Obesity Assessment, said the dangers to human health caused by added sugar were such that products packed with it should carry the same warnings as alcohol.This is why, along with a group of fellow medical specialists, I launched the lobbying group Action on Sugar last year with the aim of persuading the food industry to reduce added sugar in processed foods.In February Karen Thomson, the granddaughter of pioneering heart transplant surgeon Christian Barnard, and Timothy Noakes, a highly-respected Professor of Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, invited me to speak at the world’s first ‘low carb’ summit in South Africa.A former model, Ms Thomson has courageously battled a number of addictions including alcohol and cocaine, but lately it is another powder – one she labels ‘pure, white and deadly’ – that has resulted in her opening the world’s first carbohydrate and sugar addiction rehab clinic in Cape Town.

Professor Noakes, meanwhile, has recently performed a remarkable U-turn on the very dietary advice he himself expounded for most of his illustrious career: that is, that athletes need to load up on carbohydrates to enhance performance.

Effectively tearing pages out of his own textbook, Professor Noakes has now said athletes – and this goes for those of us who like to jog around the park too – can get their energy from ketones, not glucose.

Alongside them were 15 international speakers ranging from doctors, academics and health campaigners who between them produced an eloquent and evidence-based demolition of 'low fat' thinking – as well as suggesting that it is carbohydrate consumption, not fatty foods, which is fuelling our obesity epidemic.

A landmark Australian study found cardiac patients who replaced butter with margarine had an increased mortality, despite a 13 per cent reduction in total cholesterol.

Dr Malhotra claims this is because a lower cholesterol is not in itself the mark of success, it only works in parallel with waist size and blood sugar levels Startling, isn’t it?

A lower cholesterol is not in itself the mark of success, it only works in parallel with other important markers, like a shrinking waist size and diminishing blood markers for diabetes.

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