Forget fruit, eat butter


You’ve heard it said often enough: ‘‘I’ve tried everything to lose weight and nothing works.’’

Perhaps it’s because everything you’ve learnt about food and dieting is wrong, says a British nutritionist who’s caused a storm in the slimming industry.

Zoë Harcombe claims to have pinpointed why obesity is increasing and to have the secret to losing weight, in her controversial new book, The Obesity Epidemic: What Caused It? How Can We Stop It?

She makes several claims that contradict popular wisdom about losing weight such as that exercise has little to do with weight loss and can actually make you fatter, that you don’t need to eat fruit, cholesterol is good and you should always slather butter on your veggies.

Harcombe claims it’s a myth that the human body needs carbohydrates, saying they’re a dieter’s biggest enemy and ‘‘we could live quite happily for the rest of our lives without ever eating them’’.

‘‘We didn’t have an obesity problem throughout history,’’ she says. ‘‘In England the obesity level in the early ’70s was about 2,7 per cent. In 1999 it had risen to about 25 per cent.

‘‘You have to then ask the question: what happened during that time for obesity to go up tenfold in 25 years? What happened was a U-turn in dietary advice.’’

Harcombe also says It doesn’t matter if you don’t exercise; there’s no proof cholesterol and fat cause heart disease; fruit isn’t that nutritious; and you get the full goodness of vegetables only when you add butter or cream.

She insists companies that make processed foods will be the only ones to gain if we steer away from so-called ‘‘fattening’’ natural products.

It’s not surprising the nutrition world is in a tizz about  her pronouncements.

* Read the full article in the 13 January 2011 issue of YOU.

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