As predictable as rain on a bank holiday Monday, the January consumer media are full of the latest diet advice. This year, even politicians are capitalising on the season’s hot topic to lambast the clinically obese, something that didn’t happen during John Prescott’s reign as Labour deputy leader – can’t imagine why not.
Nutrition advice is invariably interesting, confusing, irritating and depressing in equal measure. In the 1950s, the government’s advertised public health plea was to consume “plenty of milk, cream, butter and eggs”. As the clogged arteries of a generation took Britain to the top of the heart disease league, the advice changed. We’re now encouraged to take ‘five-a-day’ – portions of vegetables and fruit. Unfortunately, the food industry has negated the intent of this appeal by offering products that may well provide one of our five-a-day but contain a shed load of sugar and other additives too.
The cycling media are some of the worst offenders in peddling (no pun intended) nonsense nutritional products. Just take a look at the rubbish written about this bar of concentrated sugar. Few things are more offensive to the palate than sports drinks and energy bars yet BikeRadar give it 4 stars! I have yet to see a single credible piece of scientific research that proves the efficacy of sports bars over bananas, raisins, a bar of chocolate or a sandwich. And I’ve yet to eat one that isn’t revolting.
I know from experience that reducing carbohydrate intake and cycling more will burn fat and lead to weight loss. My doctor tells me that lowering my fat intake will help control blood cholesterol. And a recent BBC Panorama programme confirmed this Washington Post story from 2006 that high protein diets increase cancer risk.
Therefore, the solution is my ‘3 Zeros Diet’ : no carbs, no fat, no protein. But don’t blame me if you starve to death.