Have our experts’ nutritional guidelines been wrong in the last few years? The answer seems to be yes.
While it was recommended that all possible fats be cut from the diet to avoid cardiovascular disease, the first results of two important American studies link the consumption of sugars, namely refined white sugar contained in confectionery and sweet liqueurs as well as sugar in “healthy” foods such as bread and pasta, to so-called diseases of civilization.
Professor Walter Willett of Harvard University is leading two surveys that have been accumulating data on 120,000 health professionals over the past 12 years. His mission? To discover the nutritional factors likely to reduce the epidemic of chronic diseases, cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
“I think we have the answer,” he says. Fast-absorbing sugars such as potatoes, white bread, pasta, rice and refined sugars may be linked to heart disease. Our findings lead us to conclude that insulin is responsible for this condition. The more resistant a person is to insulin, the more harmful the sugars are to them.”
After analyzing the eating behavior of 915 diabetics, it was found that the risk of diabetes increased by 50% in those who consumed the most rapidly absorbed sugary foods.
These studies also showed a protective effect: the fiber in the cereal decreased the risk by 30%. When the two harmful conditions are met: rapidly absorbed sugars and low fibre intake, the risk of diabetes is increased by a factor of 2.17 in men and 2.5 in women.