Monday, August 19, 2013

Is fruit juice bad for your health?

This is just Lustig still pushing his anti-sugar barrow.  He has very little support from other medical researchers.  Note that other fanatics condemn artificial sweetners so it is sweetness that is wrong!

It sounds like a crazy question, but fruit juice could be worse for you than fizzy drinks.

Juice exudes health and vitality. It is officially one of your 'five-a-day'. It's what they sell in juice bars, those yogafied temples of wheatgrass.

But fruit juice is also, according to the American obesity expert Robert Lustig, basically just sugar and is therefore, in his view, a 'poison'. Lustig is the author of Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth about Sugar (4th Estate, £13.99), published earlier this year. He sees sugar as the major culprit in the obesity crisis. Not so surprising, except for his shock revelation that the worst sugars may be those that appear the healthiest. 'Calorie for calorie, 100 per cent orange juice is worse for you' than sugary sodas, Lustig says.

This sounds alarmist, until you read some of the case studies [case studies prove nothing] from Lustig's childhood obesity clinic in San Francisco. One eight-year-old already has high blood pressure, thanks to a three-glasses-a-day juice habit. A six-year-old Latino boy comes to the clinic weighing 100lb, 'wider than he is tall'. His mother, a poor farm worker, has been letting him drink a gallon of juice a day because a government welfare programme gives them the juice for free.

Obviously, most of us drink nothing like a gallon of juice a day. But our juice portions are still out of whack. Over the past 30 years consumption of fructose – the sugar in juice – has more than doubled. Juice didn't used to be seen as something with which you quenched your thirst; it was more like a vitamin shot, a tiny dose of goodness. A book from the 1920s on feeding children by L Emmett Holt says that you should give toddlers just one to four tablespoons (15-60ml) of fresh orange or peach juice. Compare this with today's 200ml children's juice boxes, which contain about 17g sugar, the equivalent of more than four teaspoons.

The biggest problem with juice, as far as Lustig is concerned, is the lack of fibre. When you eat a whole apple, the sugar is 'nicely balanced' by the fibre, giving 'the liver a chance to fully metabolise what's coming in'. When you down half a pint of apple juice it 'brings a huge dose of energy straight to the liver'. Smoothies are not much better, no matter how pretty the packaging, because when fruit is blended the insoluble fibre is 'torn to smithereens'.


Britain's politicians banned from eating scrambled eggs because risk of salmonella is 'too dangerous'... unless they are made from pasteurised liquid from Holland

MPs were at the centre of a new food scare last night after the Commons banned traditional scrambled eggs and omelettes – because they are ‘too dangerous’.

Chefs at the House of Commons are now forbidden to make two of the most popular light meals in Britain with fresh eggs on the grounds that they could be contaminated with salmonella or other bugs.

MPs at Westminster can still order scrambled egg or omelette, but they will be made with liquid pasteurised egg from Holland instead.  One MP said: ‘Whatever they are made with, they taste disgusting.’

And Tory MP Nicholas Soames, grandson of wartime leader Winston Churchill, is understood to have called the decision ‘absurd’.

Politicians with a sweet tooth have also been affected because mousses made from fresh eggs have been removed from the dessert menu.

Some MPs have backed the move, claiming it is a ‘sensible precaution’, but others say the ruling risks a new outbreak of the panic that led to the resignation of Edwina Currie as Conservative Health Minister in 1988.

She was forced to quit after saying: ‘Most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now affected with salmonella.’

It provoked fury among farmers and egg producers, and led to a slump in sales.

One MP warned: ‘If MPs cannot  or will not eat scrambled eggs or omelette because they are a health risk, members of the public may say, "If it is too dangerous for MPs, it must be too dangerous for us."'

Another of the MPs hoping to enjoy the traditional snack said: ‘It all started in the Tearoom when staff  told us they were now made with powdered egg, not fresh eggs.  ‘They said it was all to do with health and safety. There was a lot  of anger.’

Mr Soames protested at the decision at a meeting of the Commons Administration Committee that is responsible for Commons catering.

An MP who was also at the meeting said: ‘Nick said that in all his years as an MP, this was the most absurd catering decision he had ever heard. He said we were being  treated like children.’

A Commons spokeswoman said: ‘Dishes such as scrambled eggs, mousses or omelettes which do  not reach a core temperature of 75 degrees Celsius are now made using pasteurised liquid egg, rather than fresh eggs. This is in line with Food Standard Agency advice.’

But last night the food watchdog denied it supported a ban on scrambled egg and omelettes made with fresh eggs.  A spokeswoman said: ‘There is no requirement or guidance for caterers to use liquid egg rather than fresh eggs where the egg is to be fully cooked.

‘For vulnerable groups such as  the elderly, infants under five or expectant mums, there is guidance that caterers could use pasteurised egg in any food that will not be cooked or only lightly cooked, such as mayonnaise.’

The traditional way of cooking scrambled eggs is to use a moderate heat. If the temperature is too hot, the eggs can become rubbery.

TV cook Delia Smith says the only rule with scrambled eggs is to use a medium heat. ‘If the heat is too  high, the eggs will become dry and flaky,’ she said.

Labour MP Thomas Docherty, vice-chairman of the Commons Administration Committee, last night demanded an inquiry into the ban. He said: ‘I have asked managers to find out who took this ridiculous decision.’


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