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Why we're still being fooled by big diet con

Low-fat doesn't mean healthy; it can, in many cases, be the opposite. Originally, when you thought of low-fat you thought of trimming the fat off the red meat or chicken, using skimmed milk, or using spreads instead of butter.

But many of the low-fat products on our shelves are anything but healthy.

The latest diet craze is the low GI diet. It simply means avoiding foods that release too much insulin into the system. Or, to put it a simpler way, foods that have a high-sugar effect on your body, storing the energy and creating body fat when not used.

Foods that have a high glycemic rating would be all white flour products, white pasta, rice, corn, including popcorn, potatoes, turnip and parsnips. Check out the GI index online. It certainly will make a great difference to your body measurements with the help of a low GI diet. It's all about avoiding sugar in all its forms. It comes in many disguises: palm oil, dextrose, glucose, lactose, etc. Most of all, processed foods contain sugar of some sorts.

Going back 30 years I remember teaching a yoga class about diet. We spoke of the high sugar content of low-fat foods. Yes, they advertise zero-fat, low-calorie, high-energy etc, but at what cost? All of these so-called low-fat foods are very high in sugar; whether it is fruit sugar, dextrose sugar, palm oil, aspartame, saccharin, the body does not recognise the difference. It's simply sugar that causes the body to release too much insulin into the system.

Diabetes

This can eventually lead to a similar effect to non-insulin-related diabetes, which is caused by too much sugar. It is anticipated that this could be the biggest health epidemic we will see over the next couple of years, yet it can be avoided by certain lifestyle

changes and diet modifications.Ireland has the highest rate of childhood obesity in Europe and the second highest in the world (source: National Obesity Taskforce website). Obesity in Ireland costs the Irish Government €4bn each year on medication and treatment.

And what is the Government doing? Nothing. What is the Obesity Task Force doing? Nothing of note. What are our schools doing? Nothing. Finally, what are we doing? Falling into the trap of subliminal programming with ads proposing to overhaul your intestines with "friendly bacteria" but giving you energy with sugar-filled drinks. Even our children are not safe from these glossy ads encouraging them to eat and drink these deceptive foods.

Some fillets of chicken are infused with salt and then infused with sugar to disguise the salt. We then wonder why we have so many health issues. You have to read the labels, watch out for all forms of sugar, even the so-called healthy options. Read the label. Read the book It's Not on the Label -- it will open your eyes.

When losing weight with these so-called low-fat foods all you will lose is your health. You will end up using the muscle for energy and find yourself getting very soft. Yes, you may lose weight but not fat weight. Try and stay on a good, balanced diet and include all coloured vegetables, for example peppers radishes, tomatoes, lettuce and apples.

Visit the food safety authority or related websites at www.fsai.ie


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