Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

diet b*llocks(?) in the magazines...

neebneeb Posts: 4,448
You can't pick up a cycle mag these days without reading some article touting the latest fashionable dietary recommendations of some dubious self-styled expert suggesting major changes to your diet based on what usually looks like some simplistic one dimensional generalisation. Cycling weekly had a particularly dodgy sounding one recently implying that you could work out whether you were a "protein type" or "carb type" based on things as tenuously connected as whether you had an anxious personality type. Some people will read these articles and make major changes to their diet - is this really responsible journalism?

One thing a lot of the current trends have in common is suggesting a high protein / low carb diet, often avoiding "inflammatory" wheat (as far as I can tell probably not an issue unless you are one of the 1% of the population that has celiac disease), but also often suggesting quite a high dairy intake in the form of protein drinks & supplements. Now, I don't know about anyone else but if I ate the sort of diets they are suggesting in these articles I would fall over and/or waste away - I'm 5'9", 62kg and I need my carbs! I eat a lot of wheat in the form of wholemeal pasta and wholemeal wheat and rye breads with lots of seeds and grains in them (I'm +/- vegetarian and also eat lots of veg and fruit and am careful to top up protein from tofu, some fish, some cheese, pulses etc). Actually though, I suspect a substantial percentage of my protein comes from wheat and seeds - my wholemeal pasta actually has 16g protein per 100g (more than twice the amount found in most rice incidentally). I feel very healthy on this diet, have no weight problems and would be very reluctant to change unless someone could make a very good argument for doing so.

There's some evidence that a high dairy diet may not be very good for your health and could be linked to prostate cancer and inflammation amongst other things, and yet a lot of these high protein diets encourage regular consumption of concentrated dairy proteins in the form of whey and other milk based products. I wonder how much of this trend is driven by the manufacturers of these products?

So, is there anything solid behind these articles or is it all b*llocks? And in particular, is there any reason why someone like myself who has absolutely no weight problems, presumably doesn't have celiac disease, is very active and feels healthy should cut down on carbs and/or wheat?

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    How about a healthy, balanced diet and good exercise?
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    How about a healthy, balanced diet and good exercise?
    Exactly my point (far more concisely...) :wink:
  • WoganWogan Posts: 203
    NapoleonD wrote:
    How about a healthy, balanced diet and good exercise?

    A wise man speaks. Listen.
    <font>Hemingway Soapbags</font>
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    NapoleonD wrote:
    How about a healthy, balanced diet and good exercise?
    That's absurd, just ride slowly.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Exactly. A sensible exercise regime coupled with a healthy balanced diet. It really is that simple.

    If you wish to lose weight calorie deficit works every time.

    Funny how "the fat gene" only exists in the afflouent west.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    My only caveat on this is
    some people do need advice - whether it guided or misguided or to the end of product promotion - about what a healthy diet is.
    You may think that knowing this is a natural inborn sense but I really think that it needs to be actively taught and thus explicity learned.
    So articles about this diet and that can play a role.
    Otherwise just turn to the next page..............................................
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    There is of course a legitimate debate to be had about what a healthy balanced diet IS, even once the basic principles are accepted (we all know, or should know, that large quantities of processed, fatty, sugary food is bad, plenty fruit and veg is good, and that we need a balance of complex carbs, protein and healthy fats).

    Not so long ago a diet with lots of red meat and starch and relatively little fruit and veg might have been thought to be healthy and balanced, but we now know that it isn't.

    I guess it's possible that convincing research could show that there are advantages to high protein / lower carbs and reducing wheat, which could change our ideas about what a healthy and balanced is, but at the moment as far as I can tell the main driver of this trend is fashion and hype.

    There is a genuine grey area however where new research might indicate that a certain type of diet might be better although there is not enough solid evidence for it at the current time. People who make money out of selling diets are necessarily going to try to cash in on this, which obviously doesn't tell us anything about the evidence for it but may alert us to new trends in real science.

    So I guess I was just wondering if there was anyone here with a solid knowledge of nutrition who might be able to put things in perspective.
  • BrocadeBrocade Posts: 433
    Infamous wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    How about a healthy, balanced diet and good exercise?
    That's absurd, just ride slowly.

    Not always... surely you need some high intensity, interval work occasionally, even if the goal is to lose weight.
    BMC Pro Machine
    Enigma Ego
  • TarmacExpertTarmacExpert Posts: 204
    I read the article in Cycling Weekly that you refer to in your original post. I actually thought it was very good, and purchased the book by Eric Berg that the article referred to. I was already familiar with the insulin hormonal mechanism whereby consuming high GI foods triggers a release of insulin which in turn triggers fat storage, but the book goes into lots of details about other hormonal mechanisms for triggering fat burning and fat storage. I firmly believe from personal experience that it is not so much the quantity of food eaten that matters for having a lean muscular body, but more the type of food, so I was pleased to see such extensive work on the subject that is in agreement with my own ideas. I also firmly believe that there are different body types and different things will work for different people. Again, this is a key theme of the book.

    There may also be a difference between a diet that is optimal for sports performance and one that is optimal for health. For all we know, a diet that will increase your cycling power output by 3% might give you a 200% greater risk of getting cancer. I don't think we know enough to be able to quantify it in that way, but I'm just making the point that the "best" diet depends on your objectives.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    neeb wrote:
    So I guess I was just wondering if there was anyone here with a solid knowledge of nutrition who might be able to put things in perspective.

    I have ....and used
    Complete Guide to SPORTS NUTRITION by Anita Bean (genuine name!)
    and I stick by that as my own food 'bible' but I probably overdo the protein...

    mind you have lost 6%points body fat since Jan.. so must be doing summat ok
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    JGSI wrote:
    neeb wrote:
    So I guess I was just wondering if there was anyone here with a solid knowledge of nutrition who might be able to put things in perspective.

    I have ....and used
    Complete Guide to SPORTS NUTRITION by Anita Bean (genuine name!)
    and I stick by that as my own food 'bible' but I probably overdo the protein...

    mind you have lost 6%points body fat since Jan.. so must be doing summat ok

    I've read one of Anita Beans books too, seemed to be solid common sense+sensible science.

    www.cptips.com is quite good for down to earth advice
  • SunWuKongSunWuKong Posts: 364
    JGSI wrote:
    I have ....and used
    Complete Guide to SPORTS NUTRITION by Anita Bean (genuine name!)
    and I stick by that as my own food 'bible' but I probably overdo the protein...

    Me too, quality book, I probably underdid the protein before reading it. I found I recovered much better once I upped my protein intake.
Sign In or Register to comment.