Fat is Bad, but Sugar is Fine. Really ?
Updated: Jul 1, 2019
The contrast between my nutrition textbook's attitude to fat and to sugar is striking. 'Sugars pose no major health threat except for an increased risk of dental caries'* They are also not responsible for the obesity epidemic, a high carbohydrate diet is actually better for you, according to the experts.
'Understanding Nutrition' goes out of its way to defend sugar, including a whole section on 'Carbs, kJ, and Controversies' (pp.131-4). This responds directly to 'popular diet books' that 'espouse a carbohydrate-restricted or carbohydrate-modified diet'. The adjective "popular" is a loaded word, it separates out the hoi poloi, the great unwashed, from the ones who 'really know'. I pick my words carefully, for what is going on in this 'discussion' is nothing other than a kind of class snobbery. More on this later, its the key to the whole thing.
The popular diet books have it wrong of course, they 'tend to distort the facts'. To set things straight, 'this highlight examines the scientific evidence behind current controversies surrounding carbohydrates'.
What is this scientific evidence ? We soon get an idea. 'Might too many carbohydrates in the diet be responsible for weight gain ? Interestingly, epidemiological studies show an inverse relationship between carbohydrate and body weight. Those with the highest carbohydrate intake have the lowest body weight and vice versa'.
The study cited to support this claim is this one. It does indeed show what our authors say it does. What does this prove ? It proves that epidemiological 'science' can be used to back up pretty much anything, no matter how absurd, and of course that's exactly what epidemiology does. As everyone knows, there are countless studies that show the exact opposite of what countless other studies show, the whole field is a joke.
This study is no exception. Its abstract contains this absurdity, 'With few exceptions, high glycemic load is associated with lower BMI, even when adjusted for total energy intake'.
Yes, you read that right, high glycemic load not low.
So what this study shows is that if you want to lose weight, white bread is better than brown.
That's awkward, the whole message of our textbook is that wholegrains are the way to go. In fact, our authors offer the following explanation for the 'inverse relationship' between high carbs and BMI. 'Dietary fibre, which favours a healthy body weight, explains some but not all of this relationship'.
So the study they cite actually contradicts their entire main argument, but yet they cited it anyway.
What does this tell us ? It tells us that science has nothing to do with anything going on here. Our authors don't expect us to actually check their citation, they don't want us to either, what they want is for us to accept their authority, as the ones who 'really know'.
And what do they know ? Fat is bad and sugar is OK. How do they know this ? Because high carbs and low fat are what they eat and they are fine, so it must be right.
This textbook is not about science, its about lifestyle. It is an exposition of, and a rationalisation for, the lifestyle of our current educated middle class who are doing extremely well under our current global corporate order. They eat their greens and wholegrains, stay away from the junk those ignorant fat people consume, and some among them pursue academic careers accumulating 'scientific evidence' to justify their superior health and life outcomes.
These people make me sick. I'm off to the gym, time for some bag work.
'Understanding Nutrition' p.117