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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (29/07/16)

Your letters, your views...

Ditch the carbs — and the ‘pyramid’

There was an editorial on the Irish Examiner recently about our burgeoning obesity, the Government’s tackling or otherwise of the situation and so on.

We have people with obesity waiting for years to see someone about it, etc.

At the same time, we have national “experts” who support the ‘food pyramid’ which is featured on HSE approved websites, we have the ridiculous and futile Operation Transformation TV programme and we have supermarket shelves filled with low-fat produce.

Why have people got so fat around the world and what can be done about it?

At the bottom of the food pyramid is starch. We are recommended to eat tons of this.

This original pyramid was invented by a vegan clerk in the United States Department of Agriculture.

He had no nutritional qualifications.

It’s not knowing this fact that is at the root of the obesity problem.

The problem is that up until this it was well-known that potatoes, bread, rice, etc, were in large quantities, fattening.

Everyone knew this.

Your granny knew it, doctors knew it, doctors had used low carb diets, very successfully for a long time in overweight people.

Suddenly, without any evidence whatsoever, what was fattening was now slimming.

Most countries have dumped the pyramid. That’s the first point.

The second point is that with no strong evidence, fat was being blamed for coronary artery disease.

Fat in general, but especially saturated fat (which was being counted along with transfat — artificially created from making vegetable fat solid) and cholesterol.

At the time there was an alternative explanation for all this by the great English nutritionist, John Yudkin.

Sugar, which in large quantities is quite new to the human diet, was what he blamed for it. 40 years on it’s as plain as day that that’s the cause of the problem.

The biochemistry supports it as does the epidemiology.

What actually happened was that lots of “low fat” or “zero fat” foods were produced which were made edible by the addition of lots of sugar.

Our supermarkets are full of such produce now.

The third point was that as butter was now bad, we were encouraged to eat tons of vegetable oils turned into margarine and used for frying, etc.

Humans had never consumed a lot of this stuff and it turned out to not be good for us,

A fourth point is that the belief by most dietitians that fat makes you fat is the opposite of the truth.

Though fat has more calories per gramme than protein or carbohydrate, it does not affect the hormone insulin and it doesn’t make you hungry. Carbs do.

Ask yourself this: “Why are we being recommended to eat so much carb?” You may think.. well there’s cholesterol in eggs.

There is.

40 years ago it was realised that cholesterol in the diet just lowers your body’s production of cholesterol.

It’s not a concern. Not only that but recent work shows that saturated fat is not a concern either.

The only fats that are a concern are transfats and polyunsaturated fats in excess. That vegetable oil you are cooking with such as sunflower oil, corn oil, etc, is not good when heated.

Rapeseed oil may have some benefits. Vegetable oils mostly contain omega-6 fatty acids. We need some of this but it needs to be balanced by Omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health, and there is far too much omega-6 in the modern diet.

This promotes heart disease. Omega-3’s best source is sea-food and to a lesser extent grass-fed meat. You should cook with butter, or lard, or coconut oil or olive oil (but not so it smokes).

What’s to be done?

  • 1. The pyramid has got to go. It’s the wrong advice. It has caused the obesity/diabetes epidemic.
  • 2. People should stop drinking all sugary drinks, including fruit juice. Fruit should not be juiced but eaten whole. Children should get water or milk. Cakes and desserts should be occasional as they used to be.
  • 3. People should eat no low-fat produce at all. Eat full fat cheese, butter, fatty meat, etc. Eat nothing with added sugar if possible or if you do eat it, make sure it has no more than 5% sugar.
  • 4. Restrict carbs a lot. That’s bread, pasta, pizza, rice, oats, etc.
  • 5. Children should be given eggs or a fry in the morning with restricted carbs (not tons of toast). They will have much better concentration and will be calmer.

My recommendation is to get a book on the low-carb diet. This diet (if adhered to) will reduce weight in most people.

The New Atkins for a New You is the most detailed and it’s written by three top scientists. It’s not bunkum unlike many diet books.

How do I know all this? I’ve been studying this since I retired and got my own weight off and have kept it off without hunger.

That’s 40lb off for more than two years and I was last my longstanding weight of 15 stone, 12lbs more than four years ago. It takes some discipline but not hunger.

Dr Garry Lee
23 Merlyn Lawn


Up in smoke

Amid all the jabber, and palaver, about lower car emissions, one stark fact stands out.

The average car spews out one metric tonne of CO2, each year (based on 10,000km). Phew, there’s no doubt about it: Smoking Can Damage Your Health.

David Freeley
36 Beechville,


Basis of barbarism

The recent spate of murderous attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslim men are of a nature and barbarity not experienced before.

Knives, axes, and other base weapons have been used against people in public places.

I wonder if there is an underlying reason for this atavistic resort to such crude and cruel methods.

The Islamic religion enshrines in its code that meat eaten by Muslims must be killed in a ritual manner — the animal is encaged and bled to a horrifying death without any form of pre-stunning as has been adopted by law in Western countries for decades.

The continuance of this unnecessary practice called Halal is sadly permitted in Ireland and other countries by special exemption, presumably under the credo of ‘tolerance’ of religious belief.

Common humanity — as denoted by ‘humane killing’ dictates we should not acquiesce in cruel practice simply because a dogmatic religion — one not native to our countries — requires it.

The majority of people of course prefer to remain at a comforting distance from the unpleasantness of meat production.

Is a religion that insists on Halal killing as the basis of proper living by its adherents, is conveying an imprimatur for the use of knives and blood-letting in a wider context.

Is it such a great leap from torturing a dumb animal under religious edict to killing one’s perceived enemies by similarly barbaric means? Impressonable minds without roots in a foreign land may indeed think so.

Ted Neville,
Carrigaline Road.
Co Cork


Sharia law system subverts tolerance

The poignant and heartbreaking account by Sr Danielle of how the barbarians representing the so-called Islamic State (IS) murdered the octogenarian Fr Jacques Hamel by forcing him to his knees before the altar of his own church and then slit his throat, should once and for all, silence those liberals who continue to express outrage when anyone dares to argue that Islam, by its nature, is a religion that harbours/encourages violence and hatred towards the so-called infidel (Irish Examiner, World News, July 27).

This argument has been forcefully inserted into the global narrative by a hard-left cadre who fail to see the irony in their assertions that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, compassion, and fraternity whilst simultaneously condemning Israel for protecting its citizens from the same type of horrendous terrorist attacks that killed Fr Hamel.

These people need to universally condem all such actions, or stand accused of blatant hypocrisy as they selectively choose the Jewish state as the target of a faux outrage.

Islam may very well be a religion of tolerance, compassion and mercy at some internal level, but as long as its adherents subscribe to a rigid ideological interpretation of the Koran, however, surely it can no longer be argued that it does not contain within its ranks nihilistic organisations like Hezbollah, Hamas and Boko Harem.

These are ideologically committed to the global Islamisation of the planet under a barbaric and medieval Sharia system that relegates women to nothing more than mere chattels, and would in a heartbeat murder and torture Gay men and women.

This is not tolerant, it is not merciful, it is not compassionate, and it is most certainly not fraternal.

Dr Kevin McCarthy
Co Cork


We are living in ‘interesting’ times

What kind of society allows money lending firms to legally charge rates of up to 188%, whilst true rates are near to zero/negative?

Noel O’Leary
Middle Glanmire Road
Cork City


Close up loopholes

Up to 90,000 Iirish loans are now owned by foreign investors known as Vulture Funds.

They are making millions from distressed mortgage holders and pay as little €250 in tax to the revenue by exploiting loopholes in our financial system.

These loopholes needs to be closed up as this is an intolerable situation and an oversight in our revenue laws.

Noel Harrington


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