Why review a LCHF book on a blog that addresses paleo-related topics? Well, for the simple reason that the view of diet, nutrition and health very often goes hand in hand among paleo advocates and low carbohydrate adherents, with some differences. So before we throw ourselves in Andreas Eenfeldt's "Food Revolution" I want to make it clear that this is a book written by one of Sweden's foremost LCHF authorities, which means that a great focus is on the excellence of fat and the harmful effects of carbohydrates. However, the author attaches great importance to the importance of human development when it comes to what we should eat, which can be clearly seen on the book cover unless otherwise stated. That it is then recommended butter, cheese, cream and dairy products in large quantities, which we have not developed with, is another fifth.
Dr Andreas Eenfeldt runs the blog Kostdoktorn.se and this is his first and so far only book, but for those who are interested there is more interesting to read on his blog. Eenfeldt is a doctor in the first place and a writer in others, which is noticed by the fact that he repeats very often in the text, which at least I think becomes a bit tedious. However, if you are completely unfamiliar with nutrition and total beginners in the field, it certainly does not hurt to repeat your message, so perhaps the rehearsals are a conscious move.
That the book is written by a doctor may give you the idea that it contains a lot of incomprehensible medical terms and professional language, but fortunately it is not. The book is very easy to read and it makes the message easy for almost anyone to absorb. An excellent Swedish beginner's book in the area of nutrition, nutrition and health, and I would already like to take this opportunity to recommend it to everyone.
Why a food revolution?
What the book wants to highlight is that, despite all years of research and experience, we still have a vague idea of what healthy food is. Above all, it is a matter of course that the dietary advice we get from our doctors and other government officials is often too bad or even harmful. Advice that is based on an inadequate scientific basis and in many cases makes us sicker instead of healthier. This does not mean that our fellow human beings want us badly, not at all. However, they have also been educated in this particular area on the basis of the same questionable ideas that today are prevalent among people throughout the western world. Basic education for physicians provides only a few weeks of theory in nutrition, while greater focus is placed on, for example, drug knowledge. Dr. Eenfeldt is a doctor himself, has completed the education and should reasonably know what it contains.
This ignorance of the diet is based on research that is several decades old, but now we are beginning to see how the trend is changing and more and more people are becoming aware of the effects of what we put in place. It is a tremendously heavy project to reverse such an established attitude about the saturated fat's danger, but it is happening right now, and is gaining more and more momentum as more people absorb the information. This is where the food revolution takes place, from the bottom up, from ordinary people rather than from government level, and according to Eenfeldt, Sweden is at the forefront of this revolution.
The background to the fat scare
One term that is used extensively in LCHF circuits is "fat scare", and that we humans are fat scared. It sounds a little dramatic in my ears, but it is clear that we have been misled for many years when it comes to the danger of fat. Both consciously and unconsciously it should prove.
In the 1950s, a study by American researcher Ancel Keys was published in which he clearly demonstrated the association between fatty foods, elevated cholesterol levels and mortality in heart disease in 6 countries, where those who ate the most fatty foods also had the most deaths from heart attacks and stroke. It was just a problem. His study did not initially involve 6 countries, but 22. When these other countries are included in the calculations, there is no longer any connection between high cholesterol levels and heart disease. There were countries with high fat intake and low cardiovascular mortality, and countries with high carbohydrate intake where many died in these particular diseases. Here comes a short, humorous but illustrative video about Key's study as a little curious:
There was criticism of the study among several doctors and researchers at that time, but that criticism received no greater hearing. Keys later also started a new large study to confirm his suspicions of the saturated fat, the so-called. The Seven Countries study. This time in collaboration with like-minded colleagues, and the result was a confirmation of his first study. It was not necessarily that Keys deliberately tried to deceive others with false statements, he certainly believed in his theories, but he missed important details that we know today such as the presence of positive and negative cholesterol (HDL and LDL). Ancel Keys finally got his study noticed in the prestigious journal Time Magazine and his low fat ideas also contributed strongly to the fact that the 1984 consensus conference on cholesterol on loose grounds determined that the saturated fat was harmful. Thus, the basis for the "fat scare" was laid.
What does it look like today?
Even today, most people believe that fatty foods lead to clogged blood vessels and heart attacks. That our own bodies largely consist of saturated fat that we use for energy, or that breast milk contains saturated fat should be a clue that after all it is not so dangerous for us. One might wonder if there should not have been more studies than Keys in this area. In fact, a lot of studies have been conducted, so someone should have discovered that the theory of fat danger is not right?
Yes, in principle every study comparing low-fat diets to low-carbohydrate diets has come to the conclusion if one is to believe Eenfeldt, but still the attitude of doctors and authorities does not change. Why?
Prestige, money and continued ignorance play a big role. As a doctor, it has been learned that high cholesterol levels are dangerous, that it is caused by high consumption of, above all, saturated fat, and that then suddenly change their mind and go to the stream is something that many people are drawn to. The fact that influential pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, for example, earn in round slangs SEK 100,000,000 annually on their statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) also means a resistance to more natural treatment, such as a suggestive (out of) old honest diet. For example, researchers suggested that McDonald's in the United States should start serving statins with their meals, which in my opinion is a clear sign that something is seriously wrong. The greed of profit-making companies should never be underestimated, not even companies whose products concern the health of the world population. Another example that is well known to us Swedes is the so-called. The Becel margarine, which, according to the advertisement, will do wonders for our heart. The marketing methods used by Becel are also described in the book, and they are, to say the least, unethical, which the company has fallen for many times.
Just cholesterol gets a lot of attention in several of the book's chapters, which is readable to most of us. For example, it may be worth asking why it is so important to avoid cholesterol even though our bodies themselves form cholesterol when we gain too little through the diet.
The Western sickness
Is it only the heart that is affected by what we eat?
No, a large number of our most common diseases have a direct link to the substances we choose to refuel our bodies with. Eenfeldt collects these diseases and calls it in the book "the Western sickness". Something that gets a lot of space in the book and that is becoming more common is diabetes, especially diabetes type-2. In 1985, we had 30 million diabetics in the world, today the figure is 285 million. A significant increase since the new dietary recommendations were introduced in the mid-1980s. I mentioned earlier that Sweden is ahead of the rest of the world in its acceptance of low carbohydrate diets. A good example of this is that the National Board of Health has now entered precisely that type of diet as an approved treatment method for obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, it is still most common for diabetics to be prescribed several smaller meals a day, including whole wheat bread and fruit that clearly raises blood sugar, instead of being recommended a low carbohydrate diet that does not result in a major need for insulin syringes. The whole thing is undeniably very strange.
Another example from the book is the story of Charlie in the United States suffering from childhood epilepsy, with up to 100 seizures a day despite the family testing both drugs and going as far as to remove part of Charlie's brain. The cure turned out to be fatter diet and less sugar, which quickly improved Charlie's condition. After that event was founded The Charlie Foundation in order to disseminate knowledge about low carbohydrate diets against child epilepsy.
What more illnesses and inconveniences can be improved or prevented by simple changes to our plates? Some examples are IBS, heartburn, rheumatism, infertility and even cancer, as cancer tumors feed on glucose, ie sugar.
What can we do for ourselves?
The last part of the book gives us purely concrete tips on what kind of food we can buy home, complete with some suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We get a few recipes served in the book, but online and in other books there are many recipes for good food. Eenfeldt also tips on how we can relate to the food offered by friends and acquaintances, and what we can do to eat well when we are in a restaurant. Even simple and notorious hamburger chops.
Some pages deal with frequently asked questions and answers, which is always interesting. A special section gives concrete tips for weight loss, and finally it is written about the importance of sunlight and vitamin D. A vitamin that is being advocated ever stronger nowadays, and which we Norwegians get far too little of as the sun hides during much of the year.
Of course, it is not simply to take hold of one's life and live completely useful and right, but it is nevertheless required that we ourselves take greater responsibility for our own health and stop looking for quick solutions. We like to try all kinds of pills, cures and vibrating waist belts instead of sacrificing goodies for health. Finally, some choose to operate most of the stomach to gain control of the situation, but not even it is a measure that 100% guarantees you a narrower and happier life. It definitely shouldn't have to go that far for us before we realize that there are natural, sensible and completely harmless methods to regain a healthy and healthy life. Even though you already have normal weight and are healthy today, eating right to prevent future problems does not hurt. Everything is not about weight either. We are what we eat and most of the illnesses are related to what we put into ourselves.
What I miss in the book is information about the importance of proteins for the body. Protein is not mentioned at all, but all the focus is on fat and carbohydrates, which is a bit of a characteristic of LCHF followers. Nothing wrong with that, but protein is an important macronutrient for us, and it may be worth mentioning, for example, that protein also results in elevated insulin levels, if not as much as carbohydrates do. In addition to carbohydrates, protein is also something we actually need to get in large amounts of, mainly from meat, eggs and the like. It's not all about fat and carbohydrates, although it happens to be in this book.
Another thing I would like to criticize is how easily Dr. Eenfeldt looks at physical exercise. It is a good thing that no one needs to exercise themselves for fetal position daily to feel good. The fact is that so much exercise is not even useful, but the book describes training as something quite unimportant that can be seen as a bonus, if you can manage and feel it. In my opinion, diet is the most important factor in our overall health, but just as we are developed with eating certain types of food, we are also developed using our bodies physically. Exercise and strength training result in our muscles being drained of stored sugar (glycogen), which gives the insulin the ability to direct new carbohydrates to the muscle tissue, which in turn increases insulin sensitivity. So very important for eg diabetics. But, the main subject of the book is diet, and then mixing in exercise might be too much of a sidetrack.
A positive trait that I appreciate with Dr. Eenfeldt, and which is noticed in the book, is that he places great importance on the quality of the food. That the meat should preferably come from cattle that have grazed grass, that the vegetables should be in season and preferably locally produced. Things that are valued by most paleo advocates.
In conclusion, I would like to quote Dr Eenfeldt from page 144 of the book where he summarizes the entire content very well.
“Avoid the new food and you can avoid the new diseases. Agriculture's starchy food is still quite new. Even more recent is the sugar and white flour of industrialism. Finally, the fear of fat made us eat even more of the very food we can tolerate. It was the three-step rocket to today's epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other Western diseases ”
Buy the book, read it, and then give it to someone you care about!