Sunday, January 29, 2012

An interesting example of an extremely limited diet

The young woman above looks perfectly fine and has a job -- and she has got that way on about as "incorrect" a diet as possible. She eventually suffered a problem that was probably diet-related but the interesting thing is that she got so far on her very limited diet. I think it shows that all diet commandments are greatly exaggerated. The extremely limited diet of traditional Eskimos, featuring almost nothing but meat and fat, is another case in point. And they have a LOW rate of cardiovascular disease

A TEENAGE girl who has eaten almost nothing else except chicken nuggets for 15 years has been warned by doctors the junk food is killing her. Stacey Irvine, 17, has been hooked on the fast food since her mother bought her some at a McDonald's restaurant when she was two, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Shocked doctors learned of her habit when the factory worker, from Birmingham, north of London, collapsed and was taken to hospital after struggling to breathe.

Ms Irvine, who has never eaten fruit or vegetables, had swollen veins in her tongue and was found to have anaemia.

Medics gave her a series of injections and started her on an urgent course of vitamins.

Despite being warned she could die if she stuck to her nugget addiction, she still can't resist the fast food.

Despite a diet that regularly means she eats at least a third more than the 56g of fat recommended by experts, she manages to keep relatively trim.

This may be down to the amount of exercise she does or to her metabolism.

But the craving is taking a toll on her health. A lack of vitamins and other nutrients combined with a dangerous amount of salt can raise blood pressure and weaken the immune system and lead to an increased risk of heart attacks or strokes, particularly as Ms Irvine ages.

A less serious consequence of her craving is that she is struggling to find places to store all the free toys and novelties that come with the meals. They currently fill four bin bags.

Her exasperated mother Evonne Irvine, 39, who is battling to get her daughter seen by a specialist, said: "It breaks my heart to see her eating those damned nuggets.

"She's been told in no uncertain terms that she'll die if she carries on like this. But she says she can't eat anything else."

She once tried unsuccessfully to starve her daughter in a bid to have her eat nutritious food.

Ms Irvine, whose only other variation in her diet is the occasional slice of toast for breakfast - and crisps - said that once she tried nuggets she "loved them so much they were all I would eat".

Evonne Irvine's other two children - Leo, five, and Ava, three - both eat healthily.

In one six-piece portion of McNuggets there are 280 calories, 17g of fat, 16g of carbohydrate, 14g protein, and 600mg sodium and in a small portion of fries there are 230 calories, 11g of fat, 29g of carbohydrates, 3g protein and 160mg sodium.

If Ms Irvine ate three portions of each in a day she would eat a third more fat and almost double the recommended salt but virtually no vitamin C.

Each portion of nuggets contains just two per cent of the daily vitamin C requirement.


Gluten intolerance may sometimes be just a fad

"There are a whole lot of people who believe they are gluten intolerant, who don't have coeliac disease," says Professor Peter Gibson, professor of gastroenterology at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. "This is very controversial because there is a quite big percentage - even up to 10 per cent - of people who are avoiding gluten because they think gluten is their problem. Naturopaths have put them on a diet, or they have done it themselves after reading the internet or speaking to a friend."

As yet unpublished research from Monash University, co-written by Professor Gibson, found only 14 per cent of people on gluten-free diets were put on the regime by a doctor. Almost half had simply decided to cut wheat and grains from their diet because they assumed they were intolerant. More than 60 per cent had not been tested conclusively for coeliac disease.

"It's a very emotive area," Gibson said. "Fortunately, now there is a lot of work going on around the world trying to define this and how we can identify people who are truly gluten intolerant."

The issue is a question of medical distinction: coeliac disease is an immunological complaint in which gluten interferes with the body's ability to absorb nutrients, identifiable by a blood test; gluten intolerance has no diagnostic test or biological mechanism by which to explain it.

Improvements to a person's health without gluten can be explained several ways, by placebo effect or by the fact a gluten-free diet removes other agents from the body - most importantly the poorly absorbed carbohydrates known as fructans, which may cause illness or discomfit.

An Australian study published last year in the American Journal of Gastroenterology showed for the first time that gluten could trigger symptoms of fatigue in people without coeliac disease - making the argument for what doctors call non-coeliac gluten intolerance. But the mechanism remained unexplained.

"Gluten intolerance in individuals without coeliac disease is a controversial issue and has recently been described as the 'no man's land of gluten sensitivity'," the authors wrote. "The evidence base for such claims is unfortunately very thin, with no randomised controlled trials demonstrating that the entity does actually exist."

Finland has done more than any other nation to identify its coeliacs. It has the most reliable data on increased prevalence: a doubling, from 1 per cent to 2 per cent between 1979 and 2000. Finns have been eating gluten free burgers at McDonald's for two decades.

It is accepted that coeliac disease affects about one in every 100 Australians - although there is no local research to confirm the Finnish findings. Some academics argue perceived increases in coeliac disease are heightened by increased testing, but it is generally agreed that prevalence has increased.

The increase in people identifying with non-coeliac gluten intolerance is more conflicted. An editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia last year noted the distinction: "The popularity of the 'fad' gluten-free diet might be peaking, but the medical need for gluten-free diets continues to rise."

Penny Dellsperger, a dietitian at Coeliac NSW, said there were significant medical risks to people adopting gluten free diets without first ascertaining whether they suffered coeliac disease. She said the symptoms could easily relate to other illnesses.

"Obviously there are a lot of people on gluten free diets who don't need to be and who haven't had the proper tests. We have to be careful gluten doesn't get a bad rap," she said.

"I don't understand why you would [maintain a gluten free diet] if you didn't need to. It's been marketed a lot and gluten has been promoted as an evil thing when it's actually not."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well hey, there are people who believe all kinds of tosh. I worked with a moron who thought she could smell tobacco smoke from forty meters away through triple glazing. Another idiot thought they could smell smoke when they saw a cigarette pack and another one who thought it was allergic to water. The current fad for demonzing normal life is going to produce more and more and more of these idiots. At what point do we say "get a grip idiots"? At the moment we have smoking bans, perfume bans, cleaning solution bans, gee when the bugs eat the morons I hope I am not the only one cheering from the sidelines.