It has been an interesting past two weeks where I attended the eighth Annual Discovery Wellness and Fitness Convention.
31 August 2012 | SEAN VAN STADEN |Sports Columnists
Year on year they seem to be stepping up their game and providing quality talks from leading professionals in different varieties of respected fields.
One of the key note talks caught my attention where four leading experts shared their thoughts on nutrition.
After the talk it was open to the floor where the audience could ask pertinent questions. There were a lot of questions directed towards Professor Tim Noakes regarding his recent jumping ship that “carbohydrates were so last season” and now high protein high fat consumption should be on everyone’s lips.
Part of the controversy, is that Noakes is saying, that what we know about food, is all wrong.
Is Noakes a genius or is he a ranting mad scientist who has lost the plot?
Let me delve deeper into the topic in trying to decode and then you be the judge.
Back in the good old days of the caveman, men hunted or fished for their food and women gathered vegetables, nuts and berries.
There were no fast food chain stores to get your quick deep fried food or your hidden sugar laced coffee or cola drink. Humans had to physically work hard for their supper which meant expending energy. There were no quick carbohydrates such as energy drinks, cola, chocolates, chips, sweets. This is the crux of what Noakes is saying. From a diet that was high in protein and high in good fats to a lifestyle of quick and readily available simple carbohydrates.
If you stopped for one minute and really paid attention to your diet, you will soon realise that literally everything has sugar in it, including that basting sauce that they cook your steak with at your local grillhouse.
Sugar has found its way into our tomato sauces, juices, yoghurts, lunch meats, breads, 99% of cereals and most alarmingly most baby foods and formulas.
That is not even the scary part, not all sugars are created equal… During recession times the American government was worried about a food shortage crisis so they commissioned research into a cheaper alternative to sugar since sugar regulates the food industry.
What they found was that through the overproduction of corn they could bring the price down by creating a cheaper alternative which was corn syrup.
This evolution of corn syrup started to make its way into foods in the early 1900s but it wasn’t until 1966 where a Japanese scientist Yoshiyuki Takasaki at the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry invented high fructose corn syrup.
It wasn’t until the mid-Seventies that the beverage industry started to use the high fructose corn syrup as a replacement in beverages.
High fructose corn syrup is a combination of corn syrups and undergoes an enzymatic process to covert glucose into fructose. It is in fact sweeter than sugar but a whole lot cheaper.
What high fructose corn syrup means to the food industry is what the invention of the wheel has meant to man. An exponential explosion in the food industry across the world happened in two short decades and now we are left with an obesity epidemic crisis.
This has allowed food manufactures to produce cheaper food and instead of lowering the cost of food to the consumers they have increased their food portion size. Ever wonder how you can get a super-sized meal with a super-sized cola for an extra one rand? Whether you buy the regular meal or the supersize meal it costs the company the same amount.
When you start to dig a little deeper, you uncover things that you never would have known in your wildest dreams.
Noakes might be called a mad scientist but so too was Albert Einstein. His thinking was different and this upset people.
In living through the start of the obesity epidemic one often has accurate information. But not all the information in its entirety on the subject has been written yet. Now that there is a huge obesity epidemic across the globe, connecting the dots has become clearer and in this point in time it’s all leading towards a high sugar diet.
What footprint are we going to leave?
– Article as featured in the Citizen Newspaper
– Sean is a sports scientist and director of Advanced Sports Performance. Catch his column every fortnight. Follow him on Twitter SeanVStaden, contact him on email@example.com or visit the website www.advancedsp.co.za