Eat Real Food Book Review

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Eat Real Food is a diet book that covers nutrition history and instruction on how to avoid fructose and polyunsaturated fats because of perceived health implications. It is by author David Gilliespie, who is a lawyer, that has also produced two other books covering very similar topics. My interest in reading Eat Real Food was to understand behind the reasoning following the anti-fructose movement, look further into the credibility of research papers used. As this diet currently underpins several fad diets on the market including the “I Quit Sugar” fad.

 

I’ll start this book review by saying I have no vested interest in any food company, nor do I have any affiliations with “big sugar”. I know that most people will only read the first few paragraphs or the title of this post so here is a brief overview:

  1. I am NOT telling people to eat sugar.
  2. I stand by the world health organisation new sugar recommendations.
  3. I am disagreeing with most of the claims in this book because they are not entirely true and miss vital points of critical information.
  4. My comments and opinions are my own based on my clinical experience, professional training. In addition, the many research papers I have provided in the text and journal papers I have previously read prior to writing this post.
  5.  I work in private practice and provide dietary advice, in a medical setting on a daily basis.

 

Due to the length and breath of commentary in Eat Real Food, I am going to stick to reviewing the main topics that under pinned this book. As most of my readers know I am not a fan of scaring people into eating right. I also have an issue with blaming one ingredient for all our current chronic health diseases. Suffice to say I am not a fan of this book and its content.

 

The author sets the scene, by explaining his own personal difficulty with weight control. He introduces the idea that something in his current diet might be to blame for the yoyo dieting and weight rebound experiences he has faced throughout his lifetime.

 

 

Willpower is a myth

 

Coming to the realisation that willpower doesn’t work, he goes in search for what might be causing his weight problem. At this point I agree with the author will power for weight control is a fallacy. It is a shame that it does take people long into their adult lives to realise this.

 

 

I have interviewed world-renowned psychologists on my podcast regarding their publications and books they have authored in this area. Willpower is finite and usually transient when motivation is high, typically when someone starts a diet and tapers off when the novelty or feeling of doom has subsided.

 

Scientists are now recognising that environmental factors and social cues play a large role in how much and when we eat. Basically if you want to lose weight you need to make your lifestyle conducive to meeting that goal.

 

 

Can exercise help you lose weight?

 

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the nutrition science. I do also want to point out that the author makes reference to exercise and its lack of importance to weight loss. The book also states that sedentary behaviour in Western lifestyles is not the cause of obesity.

 

 

“ It seems that, like every other animal on the planet, in our natural state we eat exactly as many calorie as we require for the exercise level we take on. Exercise more and you’ll eat more. Exercise less and less is what you’ll eat.”

Exert from page 3

 

 

The ‘exercise does not cause weight loss’ line has been thrown around a lot lately and I do think this is misguided. Not only because it’s very easy to observe the exercise and weight loss phenomenon in clients (I used to work as a personal trainer throughout uni and plenty of clients lost weight by exercising alone), but there are also research papers to suggest this.

 

In a review of 10 randomised control trials they found that in 6 papers they showed greater weight loss in exercise groups compared to no exercise treatment controls. In addition, the conclusion states that randomised trials consistently show benefits of exercise and weight loss.

 

 

In another meta-analysis, consisting of 8 pooled studies found that when trials included exercise and dietary change combined, they lost more weight, than just dieting. In addition the exercise only groups still lost weight.

 

 

Lastly, in another meta-analysis consisting at 21 studies that looked at diet alone, exercise alone and, diet and exercise trials in relation to obesity management (weight loss) and heart disease risk factors, found that diet and exercise to be most effective. Diet alone, was shown to be moderately more superior for weight loss than exercise alone, however the exercise groups still produced weight loss.

 

 

In this meta-analysis they also concluded that diets followed on these trials were either just plain energy restriction or low fat interventions. Whichever diet used, as long as participants restricted 500kcal less than normal they lost weight and kept it off for 12months.

 

 

As you can see, exercise is important to health and weight loss and shouldn’t be disregarded. In addition it doesn’t matter which diet you follow as long as you achieve a reduction in your current dietary patterns you will lose weight. Meaning, fructose interventions are not necessarily needed to achieve weight loss. In regards to the comment in the book on page 3 stating that;

 

“Exercise more and you’ll eat more”

 

I only partly agree with that statement, its not entirely true. In the literature people who eat more due to exercise are called “compensators”, people who get an appetite suppression affect post exercise are called “non-compensators”. I have blogged about a similar topic before in Carbs & Your Appetite, which explains the compensatory behaviour might have something to do with the Glucostatic theory of appetite control.

 

Take note that I am really vague using words like “might”, “thought” and “theory”, because none of this has been completely accepted in the science, yet. That’s why you can’t make definitive statements, like this book makes. It has not been proven yet and there are plenty of examples of people who do lose weight exercising and don’t eat more. The trouble with blanket statements about ‘everyone’, is that there are always exceptions to the rule. On page 3 on the same topic of exercise inactivity, exercise is again exonerated as a cause of obesity.

 

“If the sedentary nature of Western life styles was not the obesity factor…“

 

I have to reiterate that lack of exercise is a large contributor to obesity, weight issues and chronic disease risk. Our inactivity has increased over time. We where more active in the past, and we also ate more in the past. Researchers are now finding we are moving less, and eating less and still gaining weight. In the Uk a publication found:

 

“modern inactive lifestyles are at least as important as diet in the aetiology of obesity and possibly represent the dominant factor.”

 

That’s why obesity and weight control is seen as multifactorial- due to lack of activity, diet and many other social and cultural factors. I do have issues with books that talk about “health”, and then exclude exercise because we know that exercise improves health in many ways, regardless of weight loss. Weight loss and health are not one in the same. You can be healthy regardless of weight loss if you exercise.

 

 

The difference between total sugar and fructose

 

The biggest issue, I have with data used in this book is that American total sugar data is used in an argument against fructose. The problem with this is that total sugar, as the author himself states comprises of both fructose and glucose. Therefore, if total sugar is hypothetically to blame for diabetes, heart disease and cancer, how do you know which part of the sugar is doing this, the glucose part or the fructose part?

 

 

Currently there have been limited human trials looking at fructose alone and its affect on chronic health conditions and weight loss. A lot of the studies in this area are still only done in animal models- not humans. In addition the fructose trails use large supplemented amounts of pure fructose, which you would rarely find in some ones diet. This fact becomes very apparent with references used to justify claims made throughout the book.

 

 

Total sugar (glucose and fructose) is not synonymous for fructose. If fructose uses a different pathway to breakdown, and acts different to sucrose as claimed, then fructose data should be looked at separately to make such statements. Total sugar data, does not imply fructose health risk. It implies health risk for total sugar.

 

 

To set the scene The World Health organisation (WHO) in its newest set of recommendations does not differentiate between types of sugars, nor does it attribute cause to any chronic health condition.

 

“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of non communicable diseases.” Click here to see the quote

 

 

Notice how there is no mention of fructose anywhere? Note the difference in terminology used by the world health organisation “risk” and the language used in this book “fructose causes”. Cause and risk are two totally different things. A “cause” must precede the effect. A “risk factor” is a term used to indicate a factor that is associated with a given outcome. Risk can include markers for underlying causes, not necessarily the cause.

 

 

Total sugar increases the risk of non-communicable diseases, but does not cause them. This means not every one who eats sugar will get a chronic health condition. Your “risk” or chances are higher though if you eat a lot of sugar. This is because people don’t eat sugar in isolation. In addition health and chronic disease relies on many factors as mentioned previously.

 

 

Total sugar intake data suggests all types of sugar increases disease risk, this would include dextrose (glucose), which the author uses as a substitute. See recommended shopping list on page 295.

 

 

It is actually sad to see that messages such as “avoid fructose” take nutrition back to the Middle Ages. Nutrition science has really stepped away from blaming single ingredients. As a profession we tend to look at food as more complex and as whole, because we don’t consume nutrients we consume ‘real food’. And within that food item there are so many variables good and not so great that we have to balance.

 

 

The stance on sugar put forward by WHO, the Australian dietary guidelines and the American Heart Association nutrition committee state the reasons for reducing total sugar is to lower the calorie intake for better weight management and prevent dental carries. There is no forward mention of chronic disease risk and for good reason. There is not enough evidence to tout such claims. In addition there are many and widely varied reasons why chronic health conditions occur.

 

 

Recently, there have been many published articles that make attempts to lay the blame on fructose using journal references that look at total sugar intake. Total if consumed in excessive amounts above current recommendations will add to risk of health problems. However, as this article suggests studies are still yet to be done comparing the effects on fructose alone and if substituting glucose as a replacement has any merit.

 

 

How fructose works in the body

 

Fructose and glucose are utilised in the body differently. Fructose is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and taken up by the cells via GLUT-5 transporters, which are mainly found in the liver, these transporters are found in fewer amounts than GLUT-4 transporters used to uptake glucose in muscle cells.

 

Glucose stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas, but fructose doesn’t. Fructose travels to the liver and is metabolised. The above is exactly what the author is explaining on page 19

 

“Fructose cannot be used by the body for energy…

Our liver very efficiently converts fructose into stored energy (largely fat)”

 

This however, isn’t entirely true this is what happens at rest. During exercise fructose is used as fuel quite effectively. This is another reason why it’s so important to exercise.

 

Athletes have known about the benefits of combining with glucose and fructose during exercise for a while. It is the most rapidly absorbed fuel making it the best energy provider for long endurance event like marathons. One mans problem, is another mans gain. Keep food in context to its use. Click here to view a diagram how fructose is metabolised in the liver.

 

 

Now we have come to the part of Eat Real Food where it starts to get fun. It was about the same part where I dreaded reading it. The task of reviewing just became a tedious process and here’s why:

 

 

Sensationalist headlines & misinformation

 

“14 ways fructose will destroy your body” Page 22

 

The pathophysiology of disease conditions in Eat Real Food are widely mis-represented under the following sub headings we will go through each one individually. There are many associations drawn to chronic disease and fructose using assumptions and very poor study references.

 

 

The problem with making outlandish claims is that, in my opinion, it can mislead the reader. It provides a simple solution (giving up fructose) to a number of chronic health conditions, which could be useless and delay treatment time for someone who actually had these conditions.

 

 

It also makes inference that the medical profession doesn’t have patients interests at heart and that money is the driving force behind sugars inclusion in our diets. Which is a conspiracy theory that has never been proven, and in my opinion doesn’t exist. Planting the seed of doubt in attempt to turning patients away from medical care is not ethical and a dirty tactic to win over readers. Not every medical condition is going to improve with removing fructose, improving your diet only gets you so far.

 

 

All the conditions mentioned in Eat Real Food (cancer, diabetes, gout, heart disease, PCOS, depression, anxiety) are multifactorial diseases. Diet, inactivity, psychology genetics, social and environmental factors all play a role in the development of these conditions. Blaming fructose is too simplistic, and will cause harm to people if they decide to do away with other known and proven dietary treatments and medical care.

 

 

What type of research papers can you believe?

 

Disease associations are drawn to food, and other factors by looking at the body of literature, not single studies. You can find a study on anything that agrees or disagrees with various health topics. That doesn’t mean they are all true.

 

 

Scientists make decisions about cause and effect, by considering the results of hundreds, if not thousands of research papers. It’s only then, that you can draw a real conclusion. This is because some studies are poorly controlled as in, they can have bad study designs. In some cases it’s not ethical to test on humans so they do them on animals, which again cannot be considered “proof”. Some times studies don’t test enough people, meaning the test group is small and bias can influence results.

 

 

There are many more reasons other than this too! Single randomised control trials or study designs of poorer quality are not enough to lay blame on a single nutrient. If you look hard enough you can find many research paper that for and against on any topic. That’s why you need to look across disciplines, across what the majority of the science is saying.

 

 

Papers we consider as gold standard are meta-analysis of trials. This means they use pooled data from many individual studies and in some cases pool the data from larger meta-analysis studies.

 

 

You must also consider the outcomes of studies on similar topics in different disciplines. Meaning, that a study done on diets in the nutrition field, may not find any improvements in weight loss due to exercise. However, if you look at a paper conducted by an exercise scientist, they will find benefits to weight loss through exercise- why? Because their testing methods are different. A nutrition expert might not test for the right thing, might have prescribed the wrong type of exercise, to see an affect. Whereas an exercise scientist might do things differently- just as an example. To draw conclusions, we have to look at everything, not just a pigeon holed view of our particular agenda. Here is a great link that explains in depth Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.

 

 

Topic 1 – Fructose rots your teeth page 23

 

“Human populations that aren’t exposed to Western diets barely have tooth decay”

 

The reference used in Eat Real Food can be viewed here. Which is a referenced opinion piece- not a journal paper. It takes a historical look at dental disease showing that dental carries was thought to be low in Palaeolithic man due to low sugar and low carb intake, steadily increased to spike during medieval times and now has decreased again. This article makes no reference to fructose nor does it suggest that Western Countries are particularly more affected than others.

 

Tooth decay relies on a variety of factors: poor dental hygiene like not brushing and flossing, lack of fluoride treatment or in the water supply, increased frequency of meals, not having enough saliva and eating a diet high in carbohydrate and total sugar.The World Health Organisation has a worldwide report on tooth decay and this is what it says:

 

Oral health                                                           Link to the page is here.

 

 

Tooth decay or dental caries is a worldwide issue, affecting the disadvantaged mostly. Risk factors include; unhealthy diet including total sugar, smoking, alcohol, oral hygiene and social determinants. In this report it suggests that people from poorer countries or poorer areas of western societies can’t afford to see a dentist or have the education on how to take care of their teeth. Notice how there is no mention of fructose?

 

 

Second to that, alcohol is listed as a major risk factor for tooth decay along with an unhealthy diet. However, in the shopping list provided in this book you are still allowed alcohol?

 

 

If you are concerned about tooth decay I suggest you ignore that this book recommends. Instead, brush your teeth daily, use fluoride, give up the booze and reduce your snacking, this also means giving up the corn chips (also allowed on this diet)!

 

In the below diagram provided by the World Health Organisation, they show that in Western countries dental carries have decreased to the same level as non developed countries due to practices mentioned above (brushing teeth etc).

 

Oral health 1

 

Ultimately it goes without saying I disagree with the above statement “Fructose rots your teeth” because human populations that aren’t exposed to the Western diet are still at risk of tooth decay. Rotting teeth has just as much to do with fructose and total sugar, to dental hygiene and fluoridation and personal wealth.

 

 

Poor dental health has been a problem well before high fructose corn syrup and soft drinks were invented. It’s a total sugar problem, not a fructose problem.

 

Dental carries                                  Map link is here.

 

 

Topic 2 – Fructose inflames your gut page 24

 

“But when we consume some substances our gut becomes permeable, and toxic molecules normally attached to bacteria (exdotoxins) escape through our intestinal walls and into our blood stream”

 

 

The references used in Eat Real Food, for this claim can be viewed here. It is a journal paper published in the Journal of equine veterinary science. It describes a metabolic condition that horses get from eating grasses grown at a certain season, that tends to be higher in fructose, however no real conclusion is drawn from the study. The connection to gut permeability was drawn from mice studies, which was a reference used within this article. It stated that fructose absorption occurs mainly in the small bowel and cecum of the mouse creating inflammation and potentially increasing gut permeability. Exert from the study is below;

 

Rat study

 

One thing we have to remember when dealing with animal studies, is that humans are not animals. We have very different digestive systems and bodies. We don’t eat high fructose grass, we eat mixed meals containing a variety of ingredients. This is why you will never find a veterinary doctor acting as a specialist gastroenterologist.

 

 

Although animal studies give an indication of were research could go, it’s definitely not something we can attribute case and effect. Continuing on the same page the author further states:

 

 

“The increasingly prevalent irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is likely to be simply a warning that our body is trying hard to deal with the increased gut permeability” page 24

 

 

Again I disagree with this statement. IBS is a condition where your small intestines cannot efficiently absorb fructose, or other short chain carbohydrates and sugars. It’s because of this; fructose travels through the digestive system feeding gut bacteria. The bacteria produce gas, causing bloating, abdominal ramping and loose stools.

 

 

Gut permeability has associated with autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes, crohn’s and celiac disease, food allergies and intolerances, such as IBS. So far scientists do not know what comes first the condition or the gut permeability. Genetic associations have been looked at, as well as possible connections to proteins such gluten and gladin.

 

 

Until 10 years ago there was no way to diagnose IBS. Now due to the work of dietitian Sue Shepard we now have hydrogen breath testing and also the FODMAP diet. This doesn’t mean that IBS exists more. IBS as a diagnosis was used as an umbrella term to categories an unknown reason for gut symptoms, that were largely unexplained and not treatable, often misdiagnosed. These days the malabsoprtion concept is more widely accepted and doctors are more aware of it.

 

 

A study showed that prevalence is not increasing every calendar year, and occurs more in women than men. It also is highly connected to stress levels and related health conditions like asthma. It’s a problem that affects 11% of the global population regardless of diet type.

 

In addition IBS is not just a fructose problem it also includes other poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates and polyols. You cannot compare the gut of a person with IBS to that of a healthy gut, which can tolerate fructose and other carbohydrates.

 

 

Topic 3 – Fructose destroys your liver page 25

 

 “Our liver can make fructose useful by converting it to fat”

 

 

The reference used for this claim in Eat Real Food can be viewed here. Which is a study that looked at soft drink consumption and visceral fat accumulation. It makes specific mention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. In this study it does not make reference to fructose being a cause, however it does talk about soft drink and other sugar sweetened beverages which we know is made up of total sugar. A similar type of study is used as a second reference; you can view it here. It also looks at soft drink consumption and the above conditions. They are good references to show you shouldn’t drink soft drink, but they don’t prove that fructose destroys your liver.

 

 

Bottom line if you want to reduce you risk of non- alcoholic fatty liver disease and other types of lifestyle related diseases, decrease your intake of total sugars. Definitely do not drink soft drink and make sure you exercise. Exercise, remember allows you to use fructose and sugars as fuel!

 

 

Topic 4- Takes your pancreas out (and your eyes and limbs) page 26

 

 

“Our body usually responds to insulin resistance by pumping up the insulin levels until the glucose is cleared. For most of us, if we ask our body to run on overdrive like that for years, our pancreas (the insulin maker) will pack in. Then we’ll need daily insulin injections to live. Along the way, the persistently high blood glucose will result in blindness and limb amputation for many sufferers”

 

 

I think this statement annoyed me the most, because it’s a classic fear mongering statement. Want to get an emotional response out of readers? Tell them they will lose their limbs… isn’t it simple?

 

 

It’s extreme hyperbole. To begin with lets make the distinction that there are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition not caused by insulin resistance, its genetic. If you want to learn more about type 1 click here we cover it in a podcast with dietitian Sally Marchini who has Type 1 diabetes and specialises in this area. Type 1 diabetics use insulin injections/pumps their entire life and only in extreme circumstances lose limbs.

 

 

Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance are very complex conditions that occur because of many different reasons. It’s as much to do with diet; both sugars, total carbohydrate consumption and saturated fat as it has to do with genetics, age, smoking and alcohol consumption.

 

 

At this point I will also direct you to another podcast here, I did with Dr Jessica Huges who is currently investigating the role of saturated fat and insulin resistance and ultimately type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Its quite scary to think, that the shopping list provided in this book allows more animal based fats, that are extremely high in saturated fats, even though the author states concerns about insulin resistance.

 

 

If you want more information on saturated fat and insulin resistance here are some more references:

Saturated fat intake and insulin resistance in men with coronary artery disease.

Saturated fatty acid- mediated inflammation and insulin resistance in adipose tissue: mechanisms of action and implications.

Dietary fat and insulin action in humans

Saturated, but not n-6 polyunsaturated, fatty acids induce insulin resistance: role of intramuscular accumulation of lipid metabolites. (A rat study but interesting none the less)

 

A lot of insulin resistance and T2DM people live normal healthy lives managing their condition through diet and exercise alone. This is where a majority of my clients sit. The next level up is managing the condition with oral medication.

 

 

If blood sugars are severely uncontrolled, this can be due to natural progression of the disease with age or poor lifestyle choices, then a person can end up on insulin injections. Although, limb amputation and blindness can be caused by T2DM and high blood sugars, it is not a given. People can live with very well controlled BSL their entire life on insulin and not end up with limb amputation.

 

 

I would also like to know, how many people has the author of the book treated that has had insulin resistance or T2DM? I know in my clinical practice that you can easily control blood sugars by cutting back on all food, increasing exercise and not even mentioning fructose. In my professional experience I have had many clients reduce insulin doses or come off oral medications and lose weight, without the fructose fear factor.

 

 

To that point fructose or sugar is not the only thing that affects blood glucose levels either. Protein and other forms of carbohydrate will too. In addition, dextrose, rice syrup and other recommended sweeteners and high GI crisps listed on page 295, will also spike insulin and blood sugars, making it difficult to regulate and keep under control.

 

 

The single study used in the book to back up this claim can be found here. It is a singular 10-week study in obese adults who consumed 25% of their total energy intake as pure fructose or pure glucose as a sugar sweetened beverage. Both groups showed changes in fasting triglycerides. The fructose group showed higher triglycerides post meals, which is no surprise because the liver converts fructose to fat at rest. Cholesterol markers worsened and insulin sensitivity decreased at the end of the 12 week intervention in the fructose group. I can understand why the author has drawn to the fructose is evil theme when looking at a study like this.

 

 

Lets put this study in context; 25% of your total daily intake made up of pure sugar- is A LOT of sugar. Its approximately 100g of sugar, that’s 24 teaspoons of added sugar. Which in junk food terms is about 1L of coke per day. Only half of that coke would be fructose, (the rest would be glucose) so through extrapolation these test subjects where drinking the equivalent of 2L of coke per day of pure fructose. – That’s a lot of fructose… Also keep in mind that the study subjects were already obese, so their risk of metabolic abnormalities is also higher.

 

 

With mega doses of fructose as shown in this study, sure I agree with the author, but when would people actually eat that much fructose? It would be in my opinion very rare, and if some one was, I would think that there’s a lot more going on in the diet than just a fructose issue.

 

 

The average Australian consumes 24 teaspoons of total sugar per day both from natural sources and added sources. That’s 96g per day, again by extrapolation that would mean 48g of that would be fructose. You now get the idea why this particular study is a bit dicey to be making such outlandish claims.

 

 

People generally eat mixed meals. This means that sometimes meals are going to contain some fructose, but rarely in these amounts. The obviously high sugar culprits like soft drink, cakes and pastries might have a bit more total sugar and hence more fructose- but who is recommending people to eat that anyway?

 

You could save yourself $30 on a fad diet book, ditch the fun (junk) food and just follow the dietary guidelines for that type of advice.

 

 

It is also unlikely that you will develop insulin resistance from fructose found in fruit and vegetable because doses are low and it’s coupled with fibre. Fibre slows down the digestion of fructose. Although, this doesn’t stop the author from providing a shopping list of selective low fructose fruits to choose from.

 

 

There are plenty of high quality research papers that show that fruit consumption is highly beneficial to health and they do not differentiate between types of fruit. In this meta-analysis 2-3 serves of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits per day was associated with lower risk of T2DM. Here is another meta-analysis that also shows that higher fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with lower risk of heart disease.

 

 

Topic 6 – Fructose gives you gout page 30

 

 

The reference provided is here; the full text of the paper can be viewed here. To begin with I just like to highlight this is a peer-reviewed article. Not a study, therefore it’s considered to be an opinion piece. Although they collate journal papers and references, typically you’re not supposed to reference articles. Well, let’s just say you would get a big fat fail at university if you did that.

 

 

I did manage to find a better study not provided by the author, that backs up the fructose claims. In this 12 year observational study they found did find that risk of gout increased with the higher amount of soft drinks a person consumes, and also drew conclusions to higher fructose fruit consumption in men. I have a few concerns before taking this on face value:

 

  • How accurate was the self-reporting of soft drink and types of fruit consumed over 12 years?
  • What else where these men eating?
  • What was their body weight like?

 

Gout is seen as a purine issue, its just as likely caused by a high meat and alcohol intake, as it is a fructose issue. I’d rephrase the title of this section Topic 6 as “A bad diet consisting of meat, alcohol and fructose gives you gout”. Again I would say if you have a gout problem, give up some meat and alcohol if you want to improve your gout- However, both of these items are still included in this diet.

 

 

The Eat Real Food shopping list

 

What amazes me that although so much information is provided about the deleterious affects of total sugar throughout the entire book sweeteners such as: corn syrup, dextrose, glucose syrup, maltose, dextrose, rice malt syrup are recommended as safe to use and used in the recipes provided in the book itself. There is an easy solution to avoiding or quitting sugar for real, and its called stevia. Which is safe to use and not calorific.

 

 

The author is very specific about choosing breakfast cereals without dried fruit and making recommendations on what fruit to purchase making preference to kiwi, berries, fig, orange and stone fruit (all high glucose, low fructose fruits). However fruit in general have never been shown to cause adverse health problems. Of course, it is very easy to over eat dried fruit, so portion control to keep your total sugar and total energy intake low is a good idea.

 

 

Here’s a few interesting studies:

Raisin consumption by humans: effects on glycaemia and insulinemia and cardiovascular risk factor (Raisins reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease)

 Daily apple versus dried plum: impact on cardiovascular disease risk factor in postmenopausal women. (Dried apple and plum shown to be beneficial to human health)

 The effectiveness of dried cranberries in men with lower urinary tract symptoms.

 

 

In addition, corn and potato chips are still on the shopping list. However, we know that they are high calorie, high GI foods snacks that also spike insulin and can contribute to weight gain.

 

 

If anything is poison, its alcohol!

 

There is one major gripe I have with most fad diet books and that is the inclusion of alcohol. If you want to be selective about the perils of sugar, you better not forget about the health affects of alcohol. Alcohol literally can causes death in an acute and long term setting, its responsible for car accidents, liver problems, risk of diabetes, heart disease, family and relationship problems. Drink wise Australia is a good organisation to look into if you have issues with alcohol consumption.

 

 

Off topic to Eat Real Food, but the simplest things people can do for their health is stop drinking alcohol, stop smoking, eat more vegetables and start exercising. These four things have a huge impact on disease risk and body weight. However, simple messages fall on deaf ears! It seems that if you don’t pick a quirky eating regime and suffer then you can’t be possibly doing anything beneficial. – Which of course is just non-sense!

 

 

Good health isn’t about suffering through a pseudo giving up of “sugar” and swapping it for something just as bad- more sugar but with a different name.

 

 

Eat Real Food, enough is enough

 

This review has been a two long week ordeal that I do not wish to not waste any more valuable time evaluating the bad use of science. I am not going to review all the topics because you get the idea that I think there is a lot wrong with Eat Real Food.

 

At about half way through the book I did not have the inclination to read any further. It was very frustrating from a science and medical perspective. There fore I have not reviewed the references used in second half of the book that blamed polyunsaturated fats for a variety of different disease conditions. All of which I disagree with.

 

As a practitioner who works with people with chronic health conditions listed in this book, it does these people a disservice and is not helpful. There is already stigma about people with diabetes, heart disease and obesity and there is a lot of nutrition misconception already without adding to it. I know many diabetics who eat within the recommended intake of sugar and still have diabetes. Plenty of insulin dependent diabetics who have lived this way and have not lost limbs. I have helped plenty of patients recover from a heart attacks and strokes with diet and exercise without even discussing sugar intake.

 

 

There is a misconception that people who have these chronic health conditions are all sugar, fat eating, chronic overeaters. Some can be, but a lot also are not. So if they are not guzzling sugar, and not over weight, then how to they get diabetes? Or have a heart attack? And there in lye’s the issue. There are so many real life examples of people who do not fit the mould outlined in Eat Real Food. When it comes to diseases caused by many factors, it is irresponsible to lay blame on one single ingredient.

 

 

If you want to quit fructose, that’s your prerogative, but it’s not a disease free pass. I would still urge you to reduce your glucose consumption -yes that means reducing dextrose and rice syrup! And do much more! It also means quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol, eat whole foods and start exercising. If health is what you want achieve then take a holistic approach to improving it.

 

Seek help from university level qualified nutrition experts- dietitians!

 

 

One thing that always baffles me, is that medical professionals need to be properly accredited, tested, mentored and continually update their education in their chosen specialty. No one claims to know everything about every condition.

If a medical practitioner does something wrong, you can report them to an association for ill advice, malpractice methods etc. However, anyone can write a book in a field they are not trained in and people listen to them.

 

Authors of such books are not held accountable or liable for what is written. When such diets fail (and they do I see it all the time) people blame themselves. Then, you’re back on the yoyo-dieting roller coaster – again!

 

Would you see an accountant if you had heart problems? Then why would you take nutrition and serious health advice from a lawyer? Quitting fructose and blaming polyunsaturated fats is not the answer to cure all.For me Eat Real Food and its diet principles is a definite – DO NOT READ.

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2 Comments

  1. You’re just a shill for the pharmaceutical industry, pushing your prescription medications trying to keep people sick so you can keep big pharma and the medical establishment in charge. People like David Gillespie are geniuses far beyond the comprehension of all these shill university professors who are trained to “think inside the box.”……said me never! Keep up the good fight!

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