Tuesday 28 March 2017

Top food writer claims HSE food advice is 'out of date'

Food pyramid comparison
Food pyramid comparison
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A leading food writer has criticised the HSE's advice on food, warning that out-of-date advice against natural fats was causing untold damage.

John McKenna, who pens a highly-regarded guide to Irish food and hospitality, warned that many diseases affecting the Western world were down to diet.

"The health orthodoxy in the HSE is geared to this ridiculous idea of the food pyramid, which has been completely disproved as being wrong. When you look at the advice on the HSE website it will tell you to have things like dairy spreads, rather than butter," he said.

He called for a complete rethink of official health advice coming from the HSE and warned that until that happened people would continue getting dietary-related diseases.

"We've had a 50-year war against fat - and it is dead wrong. The war on fat is like the war on drugs, it's futile. And in this case it's hugely detrimental to the Western world," he added.

Mr McKenna said he wanted vegetables, organic and unprocessed fruits and seaweeds to form the basis of the food pyramid, in place of the HSE advice of bread, cereals and potatoes.

He also questioned why natural fats were placed at the top of the HSE pyramid and he hit out at advice telling people who are watching their weight to choose low-fat options. "We've got to realise that the fats that occur naturally in things like butter and beef are actually things that our body needs," he added.

A HSE spokesperson said the Healthy Ireland Framework was its current advice.

Irish Independent

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