Zoe Harcombe
Zoe Harcombe

Introducing Zoe Harcombe

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In the past few years I have read a lot- and listened many hours (Youtube) to folks, who had a message, which appeared to make sense and were congruent to the experiences I noted, whilst going through change processes myself and at the same time were debunking "myths" from the "science based medical industry" i.e. the Ancel Keys myth of substituting saturated fats, like butter and palm oils, with omega 6 polyunsaturated linoleic products, like margerine and sunflower seed oil. And whats even more important, the assumption that a high diet in saturated fats implies a higher risk for major cardiac adverse events compared to substitution those to linoleic oils, which proved exactly to be the other way round and caused major health damage to global humanity, due to the defunct cholesterol hypothesis.

Those "debunkers" which have been important to me, include Joseph Mercola on a general level and Robert Lustig on a scientific basis, but also Zoe Harcombe was really good to listen to. Today- I passed her website on my web journey of the day- and impulsively decided to subcribe to her newsletter so I contribute a bit to her research. You probably will hear more from her through my own writings as what usually happens with "disciples" LOL.

She lives in Newport, in beautiful South-Wales, where I had the pleasure to also spend quite a few months of my life.

 

In the introduction to her site, there is an "about me" which I copied and show you here:

Zoe Harcombe

Who are you? I’m a researcher, author, blogger and public speaker in the field of diet and health. My particular areas of interest/expertise are public health dietary guidelines (especially dietary fat), nutrition and obesity. I also do quite a few media interviews – TV, radio, newspapers and magazines – plenty of examples here. (Any media requests – please tweet @zoeharcombe and please try again if I don’t get back to you quickly enough, in case I’ve missed it in notifications – many thanks).

I’ve got a BA and MA from Cambridge University (economics/maths). I’m proud to have been the first pupil from my state (comprehensive) school to have graduated from Cambridge. I was even more proud to be voted college student president by my peers while there – only the second female president in over 630 years (well it did take them almost that long to admit women!)

In 2016, I was awarded a Ph.D. in public health nutrition. My thesis title was “An examination of the randomised controlled trial and epidemiological evidence for the introduction of dietary fat recommendations in 1977 and 1983: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” 

What are you known for? There are an increasing number of people who have worked out that current public health dietary advice is not healthy and not evidence based. I like to think that I have made original contributions to the body of knowledge in the following areas:

1) Dietary fat: Being the first person to examine the evidence base for the dietary fat guidelines at the time of their introduction (US 1977 and UK 1983). Discovering that not only was the randomised controlled trial evidence NON supportive of the introduced guidelines, but that fewer than 2,500 sick men had been studied in the process.

2) Dietary guidelines generally: I coined the phrase ‘the Eatbadly plate’, which became ‘the Eatbadly guide’ in March 2016. If you know of anyone who has challenged this ‘role model healthy eating’ advice, as consistently and for as long as I have, please let me know – I’d like to shake their hand! Ditto for the myth that is five a day.

3) The 3,500 calorie theory: I devoted 7 chapters of my 2010 obesity book to dissecting calories generally and the 3,500 calorie myth particularly. You can get a flavour here and in this presentation.

4) Physical and psychological reasons for food cravings: The question that baffled and fascinated me, from my teenage years until my mid 20s, was “Why do you overeat? When all you want is to be slim”. This became the title of my 2004 (revised 2013) book, which is still unique in explaining physical reasons for overeating and how to overcome these.

5) Journal article dissection: I receive requests from all over the world (many from my own heroes) asking if I can dissect a particular paper, which has led to daft media headlines e.g. margarine is better than butter. I thoroughly enjoy doing this, although there are too many to keep up with. Too much nonsense and too little time!

What’s your food philosophy? My dietary advice can be summed up as:

1) Eat real food;

2) A maximum of three times a day; (One of my favourite sayings is: “Unless you are a cow, or want to be the size of one: Stop Grazing!”)

3) Manage carbohydrate intake.

I think those three principles will get most people most of the way towards their own optimal weight and health (unavoidable conditions allowing). I do think that some people need to start at number 3) and manage carb intake very precisely (those with extreme obesity who don’t respond to the three bullets above and those with diabetes). That’s the LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) world.

I’m a real foodie first and foremost. I’m passionate about real food. What do I mean by that? Oranges grow on trees, cartons of orange juice don’t. Fish swim in the sea, fish fingers don’t. Cows graze in a field, Peperami sticks don’t. Hopefully you’ve got the idea. Food should come from fields, not factories.

Why do you do what you do? I’ve sat next to people at dinners and, when they hear what I do, they often say “Oh – you’ll be watching what I eat then?” I reply “I don’t actually care what you eat; I care that you know what you should eat.”

I passionately believe that human (and planet) health could be transformed if we returned to eating as nature intends. I know personally what it feels like to eat a Low Fat High Carb diet; to follow the government dietary advice to eat loads of starchy foods and sugary fruit. I did this for years – vegetarian on top – and I struggled to maintain my weight, I craved food like a drug addict (fruit especially!) and I was constantly tired and hungry.

My fellow human beings deserve better. You deserve independent dietary advice, not advice assembled by the fake food industry. You deserve evidence based dietary advice, not numbers plucked out of thin air. You deserve healthy dietary advice, not the current mantras that have paralleled a 10 fold rise in obesity and 4 fold rise in diabetes (UK data).

I do what I do because I want people to know what healthy eating is; to know how they can achieve optimal weight and health and to know that they are being let down by public health bodies. What people choose to do with that knowledge is entirely up to them. Have starchy cereal and sugary fruit for breakfast if you want – but have it in the knowledge that it’s bad for you, not in the public advice delusion that it’s role model healthy eating.

I’ll leave you with some food for thought…

“If we have been eating food in the form that nature intended for 24 hours, agriculture (large scale access to carbohydrates) developed four minutes ago and sugar consumption has increased twenty fold in the last five seconds. I wonder which food is more likely to be responsible for obesity, diabetes, or indeed any modern disease…”

Thank you for visiting!

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