For the last 10 years I have been leading a high-risk lifestyle (apparently). I have been eating a diet rich in saturated fats – including eggs, all kinds of meat, butter, and coconut in all its forms.
It is a way of eating that, as far as fat is concerned, is completely at odds with the NHS Eat Well Plate and much public health advice. Obesity and diabetes rates have been steadily climbing since this advice was first introduced in 1984 – a co-incidence maybe. Many people haven’t heard of the Eatwell Plate or take any notice of what NICE says. But since the food industry relentlessly produces and promotes low-fat high sugar foods (cheap to make and extremely profitable), the message has been relayed anyway. Now everyone ‘knows’ that fat is bad for you and gives you heart disease.
Despite this, my preference is for a Real Food Eatwell Plate (pictured) – this recent substantial brunch included an omelette, a home-made burger made with grass-fed beef, mushrooms cooked in butter, radish sprouts and radishes, half an avocado and a tomato. Note the high proportion of deadly fats….and not a ‘healthy’ wholegrain in sight.
Yet on the eve of my 59th birthday, I feel healthier than I ever did when I tried to eat a ‘sensible’ diet that looked more like the NHS Eatwell Plate. I now feel stronger and full of energy and enthusiasm for life. I rarely get colds or other illnesses, I sleep well, work hard, have a busy social life and use a bicycle as my main form of transport. I also exercise two or three times a week outdoors in all weathers (hat tip to brilliant Primal Fitness).
I have had to see my GP twice in the last year – once for a knee injury when I fell off my bike; and most recently when I decided to get a blood test, to check whether my blood fats are dangerously high, whether I am on the threshold of diabetes and if my blood pressure is too high – all the problems which, in theory, I should be facing because of my high-risk diet.*
I came to this way of eating originally through exploring the Atkins Diet (another bete noire of the medical community) which, when I studied it for myself rather than listening to the scare stories put out by the processed carbs industry, made a lot of sense.
What didn’t make a lot of sense was ‘healthy eating’ advice from government bodies, which encourages people to eat large amounts of processed starchy foods. which cause blood sugar spikes and create the urge to eat every couple of hours.
So until I can see some compelling evidence that all those foods humans have thrived on for about two million years are really killing us, MY Eatwell plate will continue to look a lot like the picture above.
* Results of blood tests in next blog (if I haven’t keeled over by then)