MEDITERRANEAN DIET – DOES THE GI MATTER?

The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet (Med-diet) are simply undeniable. But what exactly do we mean by a Med-diet and does it matter if the carbohydrates that are consumed as part of it are low or high glycemic index (GI)? What exactly is the Mediterranean diet? The traditional Mediterranean diet was originally found in …

THE DREADED C WORD

It’s likely that nearly all of us have a relative or friend who has had a diagnosis of cancer, if not ourselves. As a woman, I know I have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer – very high stakes in anybody’s terms. Indeed, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths …

IS A SLOWER METABOLISM THE REASON I’M GAINING WEIGHT AS I GROW OLDER?

The answer to this question was contained in one of the most important studies published in 2021. Herman Pontzer from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University in the United States and colleagues conducted the first ever meta-analysis of precise energy expenditure in humans across the whole lifespan [1]. In total, they studied over …

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY A LOW GLYCEMIC LOAD DIET?

If you put the keywords glycemic load AND diet into Google Scholar for studies published in 2020 and 2021, you’ll get over 10,000 results. Some of those hits describe clinical trials comparing a low glycemic load (GL) diet with a high one. But what exactly do we mean by a diet with a low glycemic …

THE DEMONISATION OF SUGAR

Fifty years ago, sugar was a good in anybody’s language. Sweetness was equivalent to goodness and Sweetheart was a name we called our closest loved ones. In the 1970s, as a student of food science and technology, I learned how refined sugar (sucrose) was an important preservative, a flavour enhancer in small amounts, and an …

WHAT IS RESISTANT STARCH? IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR US?

Short answer: It’s good and we should eat more of it. But what is it and where can we find more? Resistant starch is just like it sounds – starch that resists digestion in the small intestine. Like many things in science, it was discovered by accident by John Cummings and colleagues at the MRC …

HOW IMPORTANT IS OUR MICROBIOME?

We know the average human being has about 20,000 genes sitting on 23 pairs of chromosomes. They make us into the unique individuals that we are. Surprisingly, however, we also have many freeloaders – various bacteria, fungi and viruses – within our body that contain about 100 times more genes – at least 2,000,000 and …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THE FIRST COMPENDIUM OF GI VALUES OF NON-WESTERN FOODS  Evaluating the quality of carbohydrate in the diet could be considered more important than ever. Markers of quality such as wholegrains, fibre content and sugars are routinely included on food labels and in national food composition tables. But another marker of carbohydrate quality, the glycemic index …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

RICE AND RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES Around the world, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to climb. The rate of increase is particularly high in countries such as China and India, the most populous nations on the planet. China and India are also similar in the sense that rice is their staple food. …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

NON-DIGESTIBLE COMPONENTS OF FOOD – SHOULD WE BE EATING MORE?  Once upon a time, the roughage in food, now called dietary fibre, was regarded as a nuisance, something that might slow the growth of children, just like it did in animals. But in the 1970s two British nutrition scientists, Dennis Burkett and Hugh Trowell, proposed …