And now they\’re flat out lying to us

Yet more on \”healthy\” eating. We all eat too much salt and thus salt in the diet should be reduced. Ignoring the fact that for almost all of us the body has a perfectly good method of getting rid of excess salt. It\’s called a kidney. We all eat too much fat and …well, you get the point.

However, where I start to get enraged is here:

It says “toxic” artificial fats known as trans fats, which have no nutritional value

This is absolutely flat out lying and the people doing this to us should be crucified (take that as a metaphor for public shaming if you wish).

This started in the States, with the observation that there are foods which seem to be just pure calories. No trace elements or interesting bits of roughage at all, just calories all the way. Sugar would be an example. This then morphed into the phrase \”empty calories\”, meaning very much the same thing.

Now we\’re told these same things have \”no nutritional value\” which is entire bollocks. They still don\’t have trace elements, this is true, they still don\’t have interesting roughage, this is also true. But they most certainly do have nutritional value.

You can have all the trace elements you can fit into yourself along with as much roughage as you can munch: vitamin tables and a diet of bark for example. And you\’ll die of starvation perhaps 60, 80 days in. Because you won\’t be getting that essential component of nutrition: calories.

Run it the other way around, get no trace elements, get no roughage, take no vitamins but eat lots of calories, empty even though they may be, and it\’s take a lot longer than 60 days for the scurvy, pellagra, kwashikor or whatever to get you.

Calories are nutrition: it is not possible to say that something with calorific value is not nutrition.

Now this may sound extreme but what worries me when people attempt to change the language3 in this manner is that, when reinforced often enough, it become impossible to think certain thoughts. E. Blair made this the cornerstone of one of his books. But recall, that book was a warning, not an instruction manual.

7 comments on “And now they\’re flat out lying to us

  1. Your excellent analysis aside, you just know that any article that states “X,000 people die from…” is going to be a waste of space.

    As Leg-Iron recently pointed out, “250,000 people die from being called Eric” is an equally valid statement in their faux science terms.

  2. I think everyone knows someone in their seventies or even eighties who was brought up on beef dripping, everything fried in lard, full fat milk and the like.
    Chloresterol hadn’t even been invented in the good old days.
    How much of this research is done by the big drug companies’ who happen to have “anti” this and “anti” that drugs?

    As a side note, we can’t afford for everyone to live longer, theres too many people in the country as it is.

  3. Pingback: Longrider » Trans-Fats and NICE

  4. I’m going to be an arse and suggest that petrol, for example, has calorific value but is not nutrition.

    Everything else seems correct.

  5. I’ve just seen an article that says Jaffa Cakes are zero rated so wont be affected by the VAT rise. I know what I’ll be eating from January…who cares about the trans fat/calorie/trace element/bullshit content?

  6. You’re right about sugar (’empty’ calories) still providing metabolic energy, but the argument about trans fats is that they are not metabolised at all – their trans configuration prevents their metabolism by lipase enzymes – so they just hang around in your circulation and create fatty plaques in your coronary arteries. So no nutritional value and no calorific value either.

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