Dietary Heresy – or New Wisdom? #functionalmedicine #sugar #fat #carbs #cholesterol

A quickie post today: I thought I’d share a few of the websites and influences that I’ve found helpful in shaping my attitude to food and health in recent months.  One or two of the understandings I’ve arrived at, having read some of the material available on the internet and in books, are beginning to catch a wave – it seems they’re not such crazy notions after all.

Sugar – what people generally call either free sugar or simply added sugar (ie, not the sugar found naturally in whole fruits, for example) – is an unhealthy and unnecessary dietary additive and the root cause of the so-called Obesity Epidemic. It may be tasty, but it’s addictive, it brings long-term harm and lifelong weight challenges, and we don’t need it.

Simple Carbohydrates – I’m thinking pasta, white rice, bread – should not be the foundation stones of the average meal. They convert to sugars far too quickly and mess with the body’s insulin regulating mechanisms. Particularly if you’re overweight and want to lose excess pounds, or you have type two diabetes, or are pre-diabetic, ditch those simple carbohydrates.

Fat – is not the enemy. In many, many forms, fat is more friend than foe, and should be an essential component within a healthy diet. The food industry has got rich persuading us that low fat products, processed and stuffed with additives and sugar, are healthy. This is more than misleading.  Dairy fats have much to commend them, and so-called healthy fats in nuts, oily fish, olive oil and avocados, for example, are an absolute must.

Cholesterol – which Big Pharma has gone into overdrive to persuade us is killing us – is natural and normal and for the vast majority of us, does not need to be controlled by drugs.  Statins are a con being perpetrated against vast populations of healthy people, for profit.

Great reference sources and health heroes

Action on Sugar  is a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health. It is working to reach a consensus with the food industry and Government over the harmful effects of a high sugar diet, and bring about a reduction in the amount of sugar in processed foods.  Spearheading Action on Sugar is one of my dietary heroes, Cardiologist, Dr Aseem Malhotra

Diet Doctor seeks to promote natural health. Focused on LCHF (Low Carb High/Healthy Fat) approach, the website is an enormous practical and inspirational resource, particularly for those battling weight issues and diabetes. It promotes what began as a revolutionary approach a few years ago (carbohydrate reduction, the happy consumption of fats), but which is gaining considerable credibility in the medical community and beyond.

Dr Mark Hyman is a practicing physician, prolific author and advocate of the power of Functional Medicine. It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms. Dr Hyman has written extensively on issues around fat and sugar.

Dr Malcom Kendrick Practicing GP and author of ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’, Dr Malcolm Kendrick throws light on the lies, damned lies and statistics that surround the demonization of cholesterol, the pushing of statins to almost anyone over the age of 50, and the ways we are made to fear eating just about any foodstuff you can contemplate. Great blog and real insights into how statistics can misdirect, and the difference between correlation and causation.

Insightful videos, podcasts and films

The Big Fat Fix

Addresses the issue of how recommended but misguided dietary advice over the last 50 years has spawned the obesity and diabetes epidemics.  It looks at the role of healthy eating – based around what’s become known as the Mediterranean Diet – in treating and preventing these and other diseases.

That Sugar Film

In this revealing film, Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. The results are shocking.

The Truth about Sugar (BBC Documentary)

Even-handed documentary on how much sugar there is coursing through our everyday foods.

Dr Mark Hyman on Eating Fat to Get Healthy – with Lewis Howes

An interview podcast, Dr Mark Hyman talks passionately about why eating fat is the key to weight loss.

That’s by no means an exhaustive list, and remember, I’m hardly the expert. But I personally have found each one of these websites (and their wealth of resources and links), health heroes and videos an excellent source of information and insight.  They have shaped my new eating and lifestyle habits, helped me towards a weight-loss of over 70 pounds in the last 13 months, and helped me to become healthier, happier and more energetic than I’ve been in almost two decades.

Author: Jools

Abundant, Bold, Confident, Determined, Empathetic, Forthright, Grumpy, Healthier, Individual, Just me, Kind, Loving, Mellifluous, Natural, Optimistic, imPatient, Quirky, Real-world, Single-minded, unTreatable, Unwound, Verbal, Wilful, eXtraordinary, Young and old, Zero-tolerance.

16 thoughts on “Dietary Heresy – or New Wisdom? #functionalmedicine #sugar #fat #carbs #cholesterol”

  1. I watched a documentary on the evils of sugar. It seemed a bit hyperbolic and histrionic in tone. But, I can’t argue with your results. You look positively glowing. From everything I read above, I definitely concur with the ‘fats are healthy’ promotion. (We also pick out the thing we want to believe, isn’t that so? My friend says it has something to do with confirmation bias. But sometimes you just have to go with your gut.)

    1. Well all I know is that my gut is loving me, ever since I gave up added sugar, pasta and bread, and embraced the glory of a nice slice of cheese! I’m firmly convinced that cutting down, or better still cutting out, added sugar is the best thing a person can do for their health. It’s not easy- but it is worth the effort.

  2. I really don’t understand the reluctance to legislate seriously on sugar in food. Sugar is NEVER a food in itself, and is only harmful. Could it be, *gasp*, and I hesitate to suggest this, could it be that it is something to do with the influence of Big Business on our Politicians?

  3. Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 1 year ago I was almost shocked to learn that sugar is not the great danger for diabetics. It’s cholesterol. Had to change my whole way of thinking.

    1. Hey Dannie! I’m sorry to hear you are one of the rapidly growing community of Type 2 Diabetics. I’m not a medical expert and I couldn’t possibly advise you, but from what I’ve read, I would think that sugar absolutely IS the great danger. I would urge you to read around the Diet Doctor website (link in the post) for some real insight into the role of sugar/simple carbs and the potential to reverse diabetes through diet. Also take a look at a book (available via but might also be in USA) called The 8-week Blood Sugar Diet by Dr Michael Moseley. I’ve also listened to an interesting talk on Dr Mark Hyman’s ‘Fat Summit II’ website (one of the ‘bonus’ talks you get when you register to this free online event) with Carrie Diulus, called ‘Functional Medicine Takes on Diabetes’. Like I said, I’m not an expert, nor a doctor, but this material does challenge the conventional thinking around diet and diabetes.

      1. Thanks, Jools. What I meant to say in my comments was that Carbs are the real danger for those with diabetes. I will look at the things you’ve mentioned, although, like most writers, I read a lot about subjects that peak my interest. My diabetes is not family related and it appears to be war related to to some chemicals I was exposed to. That being said I watch what I eat, exercise and take a small amount of meds and as of now my A1C is in the normal range and I hope it stays there.

        1. You’re right, I’m sure of it. The interesting – and worrying – thing is that so much bad information on diet for diabetes seems to be out there, and it’s confusing to many of those trying to grapple with this condition. It’s exciting that more and more people are recognising that it is possible to control and even reverse diabetes with the right diet – maybe not for everyone, but for many. Good luck with managing your condition – I guess with military discipline behind you(?), you are well equipped.

    1. Thanks again Elizabeth. It’s not a plain sailing, and things have slowed, but it feels great to have made some serious changes that I know now, I can stick to.

  4. Hey, slim Jim , great to hear you are still walking the healthy path. I have another 26 lbs to go and am loosing a measly one pound a week but i know the nearer the recommended weight the tougher it is. How much have you got to loose to get where you need to be and are you finding it slower now? I am vegetarian four days a week and have fish or chicken two days. My guilty pleasure of bacon as a garnish on one meal a week keeps me sane. i have added half a teaspoon or Agave nectar on my oats and seeds each morning, the only added sugar I have, and I walk silly miles three days a week. All your links are great and i pinned them just incase… keep on doing because it is working. x😇

    1. Yep, still walking the healthy path, though I’ve taken my foot off the pedal a little and am suffering a bit of a plateau as a result. I know what I need to do, and I’m on it again. Onward and downward. I probably have about the same as you still to lose, though I’m not fixing on a number. I would love to get back to 1 pound a week loss and see the back of it in 6 months, but I think a year is more likely for me. I can live with that. There are more ‘tweaks’ I can make to my habits (although going vegetarian 4 days a week is a step too far for me!) which will improve things. You’re doing great with the sugar-free thing (even with a little agave, I’m sure it’s making a big difference). I take a walk every day, but it’s only a couple of miles – I think, for me, it’s better to do that regularly than set myself higher targets and not make it.

      1. Well done you we are doing good I think, i feel like we are doing it together in a silly way. We will be at nextvyears bloggers bash like super women sashaying around as winners … everln if we don’t win an award. 😘

        1. Sounds great, Ellen! It’s good to have a ‘buddy’ in this kind of thing and I think you just became mine! It will help keep us both on-track. As for awards – getting healthy is the very best award 😊

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