From hunger to wholeness: ‘road map’ to avoid overeating

By Marika Sboros

Hunger is one driver of overweight, obesity and associated health problems.  Another is the “weight” that many people with obesity carry.

That weight is as much emotional as physical, say the authors of a new book. From Hunger To Wholeness is a “road map” to guide readers back to a healthy weight.

The co-authors are UK-based psychoanalytic psychotherapists, Caroline Taylor-Thomas and Pam Kleinot. I came across it as both are former journalist colleagues of mine back home in South Africa.

The book’s subtitle gives their aim: Strategies To Free Yourself From Overeating. To deliver, they mix extensive investigative reporting skills and clinical experience of patients with eating disorders and other forms of substance abuse.



HARVARD PROF: COCONUT OIL ‘PURE POISON’! WHAT NEXT?

By Marika Sboros

First, they came for low-carb diets. Then they came for coconut oil. What will Harvard scientists come for next?

Harvard epidemiology professor Karen Michels has sent social media into overdrive with her claim that coconut oil is “pure poison”. She also called it “one of the worst foods you can eat”.

Cardiologists and other experts globally called those comments “unscientific” and ignorant. Others have rather rudely dismissed her comments as total ‘BS’. Michels is facing calls to apologise publicly and retract her claims.



Vitamin D: is it snake-oil for snake-oil disease?

By Marika Sboros

Nutrition science is looking decidedly dodgy these days. One reason is the love affair with vitamins, a century after scientists discovered them.

That affair has spawned the billion-dollar global supplement industry. It has also created “pseudo-diseases” in its wake, says British geneticist Prof Tim Spector. One of those pseudo-diseases is Vitamin D deficiency.

Spector is professor of genetic epidemiology and director of the TwinsUK Registry, at Kings College London. Spector has looked at another confounding variable in nutrition research these days: We have ignored a new “virtual” organ in our bodies for the digestive and endocrine system, he says. It is the microbiome that he calls our “second brain”.



Low-carb diets will shorten your life? Fat chance!

By Marika Sboros

Well, here’s a page turner for the diet books. A new study in The Lancet Public Health claims that low-carb diets could be killers.

The researchers claim that the diets increase your risk of mortality (premature death) by shortening your lifespan. In other words, the researchers argue that low-carb diets are life-threatening.

They also claim the same for high-carb diets. But don’t mistake that for any kind of anti-carb stance. On the contrary. The researchers claim that “moderate” carbohydrate consumption (50-55% of the diet) is the way to go.

They say that moderate carbs from plant foods up your chances further of avoiding a premature end. They speak of  “controversy” around low-carb diets. Therefore, they claim that low-carb diets containing animal foods are even more life-threatening than those with plant-based foods.



Diet-heart hypothesis: zombie or written in scientific stone?

By Marika Sboros

The diet-heart hypothesis is a curious creature. To some scientists and physicians, the hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease is a zombie. Despite all the stakes they drive deep into its heart, it just won’t die.

To others, it’s written in scientific stone. That’s even when supporters, such as Harvard nutrition and epidemiology professor Walter Willett, call it “incomplete” and “overly optimistic” in its classical form.

The hypothesis hovered in the wings at a groundbreaking conference in Zurich, Switzerland in June. That’s when it wasn’t taking centre stage. Willett and others vigorously dispute the notion of any terminal hole in the diet-heart hypothesis.



SWISS RE: TYPE 2 DIABETES REALLY CAN BE REVERSED

This is the first in a two-part series on a remarkable event that took place in Zürich, Switzerland, in June 2018. It is a review of a conference that will hopefully help to change conventional medical treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes dramatically in the near future.

The venue augured well: the elegant buildings of the Swiss Re Institute’s Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon on the west shore of Lake Zürich.

Speakers came from top research institutions around the globe. They argued that mainstream medical treatment for type 2 diabetes just doesn’t work well. In effect, it keeps people fat, sick and dependent on drugs.

That was fighting talk from physicians and scientists from around the globe. Their alternative was just as groundbreaking: It gives people with type 2 diabetes hope that they can reverse their condition safely and effectively without resorting to drugs or surgery.



DID WITS ETHICS CHIEF LOSE HER WAY JUST TO NAIL NOAKES?

Prof Amaboo ‘Ames’ Dhai

By Marika Sboros

Here’s an intriguing ethical and moral dilemma in the latest issue of the SAMJ (South African Medical Journal).

It’s in an article by University of the Witwatersrand bioethics head Prof Amaboo “Ames” Dhai. The title: The Life Esidimeni tragedy: Moral pathology and an ethical crisis.

In it, Dhai speaks of “core values of compassion, competence and autonomy”. Together with respect for fundamental human rights, these are “the foundation of ethical practice in healthcare”, she writes.

But why is that an ethical, moral dilemma and for whom? Well, for starters, for Dhai herself.



Saturated fat causes heart disease? Pure bollocks – Kendrick!

Quick! If your doctor or dietitian still says you should eat a low-fat diet for your heart’s sake, find another one. In the final of a two-part series, Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick explains why so many doctors and dietitians dish up junk about cholesterol.

And why everything the experts have been telling you about saturated fat, its impact on LDL, and its impact on CVD is – frankly – ‘complete bollocks’. – Marika Sboros



LDL FAT HEART PUZZLE: KENDRICK SOLVES IT!

Some find it puzzling that cardiologists still tell patients to avoid saturated fat like the plague. And that they also tell patients to lower their levels of so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol.

It’s as if cardiologists don’t know that there isn’t such a thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. And that LDL isn’t cholesterol at all. Never was, as Scottish GP Dr MalColm Kendrick explains in this two-part series. 

Kendrick has a special interest and clinical experience in cardiovascular disease over decades. He is a voice of sanity in a mad scientific debate. Here, Kendrick explains why saturated fat can’t “cause” heart disease by raising blood LDL cholesterol levels. And why there are more important things to worry about for your heart’s sake.  – Marika Sboros



UK HOSPITAL IN WORLD-FIRST CALL: DITCH SUGAR!

By Marika Sboros

You know the dietary times really are a-changin’ when a UK hospital calls on a community to stop eating sugar and processed foods.

And when mayors, MPs and celebrities support it. Tameside Hospital in Greater Manchester has issued a world-first 70-day challenge to the 250,000 people it serves to go sugar-free.

The DITCH SUGAR! call comes on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the NHS (National Health Service). It highlights soaring levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the UK as linked chronic health conditions – which doctors now call “diabesity”. Tameside is also holding a symposium on Wednesday, July 4. Those who register will receive a free guide to kickstart their sugar-free challenge by email. It is based on UK consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra’s bestseller The Pioppi Diet and includes a freeview of his groundbreaking doccie, The Big Fat Fix, with filmmaker Donal O’Neill. 



Green tea: Fung on how it boosts fasting, weight loss

 In China, a “cuppa” usually means a cup of green tea. Green tea is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine and has been for centuries.

It is popular globally these days as people drink it to treat a wide variety of ailments. These range from mood disorders to digestive complaints, aches and pains and even cancer.

Canadian-Chinese nephrologist (kidney specialist) Dr Jason Fung is a big fan of tea – green and black. He is also a big fan of fasting.

Fung introduced fasting as a therapeutic option for patients about five years ago. That’s part of his Intensive Dietary Management program for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal.



NOAKES FREE AT LAST, HPCSA LICKS ITS WOUNDS

By Marika Sboros

South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes is a free man. Noakes has won his final battle with the Health Professions Council of South Africa on a charge of professional misconduct for a single tweet.

The HPCSA’s committee has dismissed an appeal against the comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017. (Click here to read the full decision.)

The unanimous ruling came down late on Friday, June 8, 2018. It is as complete an exoneration as Noakes could have hoped for. And the only person it exonerates is Noakes.





Vintage eating: look backward, fast forward to good health!

By Marika Sboros

Fast food is often just a euphemism for junk food. Ditto for “convenience”, so-called “comfort” food. A new book gives bold new taste, flavour and health to fast food.

It is Dinner Plans, Easy Vintage Meals by Jennifer Calihan and Adele Hite. It shows how easy it really is to make healthy foods fast for dinner daily.

The secret is in the “vintage”, say the authors. Vintage meals are the “original fast food”. Vintage eating is the way your great-grandmothers used to cook. That was “back when people used to feel satisfied between meals and look and feel better”.



PHC FINALLY LAYS LOW-FAT DIETS TO REST! Part 2

By Marika Sboros

Are you on a low-fat, high-carb diet because your doctor or dietitian says that it’s “healthy”?

That’s “fake news”, says Scottish professor of metabolic medicine Iain Broom.

You are part of an “uncontrolled global experiment” over 40 years.

It is one that has had “disastrous” results for people across the planet, Broom said.



LCHF SLIPS INTO MEDICAL MAINSTREAM AT PHC GATHERING! PART 1

By Marika Sboros

If you harbour any doubt that low-carb, high-healthy-fat (LCHF) diets are becoming medical mainstream, the recent Public Health Collaboration (PHC) annual conference in London dispelled it.

Former Australian cricket team doctor Peter Brukner set the tone in his opening address on May 19. It is “almost negligent”, even close to “criminal”, he said, for doctors not to put patients on LCHF diets for diet-related illnesses. That was fighting talk and it resonated with speakers who expressed similar sentiments.But there was another strong sign that LCHF is becoming mainstream.



TYPE 1 DIABETES STUDY: LOW-CARB DIETS DISH UP RADICAL NEW HOPE

By Marika Sboros

Type 1 diabetes is usually a terrifying diagnosis, more so for parents when doctors diagnose it in their children. A lifetime dependency on increasing use of insulin and other drugs looms large.

If diabetics don’t manage their condition properly, the spectre of life-threatening complications also looms large. These include kidney failure, blindness, limb amputation and premature death.

Now, US scientists offer type 1 diabetics a radically different approach to conventional treatment and management of type 1 diabetes.



SUGAR TAX USUAL SUSPECTS SAY: IT WASN’T US! APOLOGIES TO SHAGGY

A sugar tax is a good thing, right? It’s a significant step to resolve obesity and type 2 diabetes pandemics, right? Public-health experts desperately want you to believe that.

It’s a message that leaves a sour taste in mouths of medical nutrition experts globally. Australian GP Dr Joe Kosterich is among them.



MIKHAILA PETERSON: GLOBAL POSTER GIRL FOR CARNIVORE LIFESTYLE

By Marika Sboros

Canadian Mikhaila Peterson is the poster girl for low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) living. Actually, not just LCHF – she’s the global poster girl for a carnivorous, ketogenic lifestyle.

Following in her ketogenic footsteps is her famous father, Dr Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and University of Toronto psychology professor. His diet is not as restrictive as his daughter’s. He eats meat and greens only – and olive oil. Mikhaila eats meat and salt only and drinks lots of sparkling water. (Editor’s note: Jordan recently ditched the greens to follow his daughter on the meat-only path.)



BIG FOOD, BIG PHARMA FACE DAY OF RECKONING – KOSTERICH

By Marika Sboros

Of course, Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich is right about Big Pharma and Big Food. Both have a right to make a living, he says. Just as he has the right and we all have the right.

And just as many of us have, Kosterich also has a healthy scepticism about the way these industries conduct themselves. They don’t have the right to mislead the public with false claims about their products, he says.