March 25, 2016

Public Health England Decries Low Carb Diet

Low carb diets were called out on Thursday, March 17 by Public Health England. The agency stated that carbohydrates are the backbone of a healthy diet and that meals low in carbohydrates do not provide vital nutrition because they lack the fiber crucial for digestion.

The agency doubled down on its healthy eating advice to urge Britons to consume more potatoes, pasta, bread, and other starchy carbohydrates to increased fiber intake by more than half, from 19g a day to 30g a day.

In addition to five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, people need the equivalent of two wholemeal breakfast cereal biscuits, two thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large jacket potato with its skin. The experts declared that it was important to choose wholegrain options to obtain the most nutrition from carbohydrates.

The Eatwell Guide increases the amount of starchy carbohydrates from 33 to 37 percent of recommended daily intake.

The officials also warned people not to rely on supposedly healthy “juicing” diets for their nutrition. Fruit juices and smoothies should be limited to a
single 150 ml glass per day because they are packed with sugar and rarely include fiber. An agency spokesperson said, “There seems to be a juicing trend, and low-carb diets are popular, but the scientific evidence is telling us otherwise."

Fiber helps the body digest food, as well as keeping people feeling fuller for longer. Fiber is also known to protect against certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. One in nine cases of bowel cancer is linked to eating too little fiber.

Sian Porter, of the British Dietetic Association, said: "You still need to watch your portion size, but starchy carbohydrates should form the basis of any diet."

The guide also urges Britons to eat less cake, biscuits, and sweets, red and processed meat, and dairy. However, Terry Jones, of the Provision Trade Federation, told Farmers Weekly this was a "kick in the teeth" for hard-pressed dairy farmers.

He added: "I find it staggering that, at a time when ministers are expressing support for the sector, an agency of government should not only encourage consumers to reduce consumption of dairy products, but also seemingly ignore the positive role they can play in public health."

Doubling down in their encouragement of eating carbohydrates is not the way to create healthy eating and will encourage more obesity and more diabetes in Great Britain.

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