SVT1: “Ask the doctor – Why you can eat much fat”

09Jun11

SVT1 Fråga doktorn
May 16, 2011

My comments
This is a transcript of the 7 minutes long interview with dr Andreas Eenfeldt (aka the Diet Doctor) in the Swedish TV program “Fråga doktorn” (“Ask the doctor”). It was staged in a supermarket where Andreas went food shopping with a journalist. He got a good opportunity to both talk about LCHF food and show which groceries are good alternatives.

After this clip the show’s doctor Gunilla Hasselgren gave her thoughts on LCHF, and unfortunately she was catious and warned that she thinks that too much fat can be unhealthy. Nevertheless, Andreas made a very good and confident impression and I beleive many Swedes took in his message.

And now over to the show!

ANDREAS: LCHF stands for low carb high fat, which means eating a lower amount of carbohydrates and a higher amount of fat. It’s a way to eat less sugar and starch in order to for example lose weight, get better glucose levels if you have diabetes, or a calmer stomach. You could see it as a stricter version of the Glycemic Index diet, and it has become popular in Sweden as a means of losing weight without going hungry.

NARRATOR: This diet menas to avoid sugar and starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, but continue to eat meat, fish, vegetables, eggs and butter instead of light products.

ANDREAS: You can eat most of the vegetables that grow above the ground in any amount. Vegetables that grow under ground contains more starch, for example root-vegetables and potatoes, so you need to be more careful with how much you eat of those if you are sensitive to carbohydrates. But everything that grows above ground is good. Asparagus is an example of excellent food.

ANDREAS: One vegetable is more popular amongst low carbers, and that’s cauliflower. You can boil it and mash it with cream to make cauliflower-mash, or you can grate it and boil quickly it to get low carb-rice low on carbohydrates.

JOURNALIST: But why should I who’s young and pretty thin eat and exercise regulary eat LCHF?

ANDREAS: Then perhaps you don’t need to eat a very strict LCHF diet, but some people try it anyway and feel better with a calmer stomach, less flatulence, better satiety and won’t need to eat as often. They just feel better on the diet. But most people who are young, healthy and thin aren’t that fussy and eat potatoes and such as well.

JOURNALIST: But is it a weight loss diet or a lifestyle?

ANDREAS: It is a cure for health, and weight loss comes as a part of it.

NARRATOR: But the critics say that there’s a risk of getting too little of fibres, fruit and greens, and that the LCHF diet can lead to heart diseases and certain types of cancer. The governmental agency SBU [“Statens beredning för medicinsk utvärdering”, ie “The Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment”] haven’t been able to assess the long-term effect on diabetics who eat LCHF, and today the debate is raging and has as many opinions as experts.

ANDREAS: It is messy right now, and that’s what happens when a change is under way. We have been convinced for a couple of decades that fat is dangerous, and now that scientific theory is dying because it doesn’t hold up in modern studies. It gets messy for a couple of years when people say different things, and unfortunately we’ll have to endure it until the matter is clarified.

JOURNALIST: Fruits is something that I learned when I was growing up to think of as healthy food, but what do you say?

ANDREAS: I think that fruit has become a bit too sacred in Sweden today. You must consider that it’s energy comes almost entirely from sugar, and that can be a problem if you want to lose weight or control your blood sugar. I suggest we consider fruits as natural candy.

JOURNALIST: Cheese! Something that I love.

ANDREAS: Many who like cheese avoid it because they think that it’s somehow bad for your health, but if you eat a low carb diet you can eat cheese with a clear conscience and eat the cheeses you like, especially the fattier varieties.

ANDREAS: The reason we’ve been afraid of fat for a couple of decades is because of the theory that increased cholesterol can cause heart disease. Now it’s been proven in studies that that’s wrong.

JOURNALIST: But can you eat too much of fatty foods?

ANDREAS: It’s hard to overeat on fatty foods, because it makes you very full. If you do you normally go a couple of more hours without food than you would have, so it evens out. It’s very very hard to overeat on pure fat, try and eat a package butter if you can!

JOURNALIST: But is there any physical danger to eat that much fat?

ANDREAS: Not what is known, and Socialstyrelsen [“The National Board of Health and Welfare”] looked into the LCHF diet a couple of years ago and found no scientific evidence that it’s dangerous.

NARRATOR: The LCHF diet and Andreas says that when it comes to other dairy products, it is important to choose the full fat options. Real butter, fat youghurts and full fat cream. And to totally avoid the sugary and flavoured light products.

ANDREAS: I think they should have warning signs on them when they contain as much sugar as they often do. People are tricked into beleive they’ll loose weight with these light products full of sugar, and then gain weight instead.

ANDREAS: We’ll take some bacon, bacause that’s good.

JOURNALIST: If you look at meat, which varieties should I choose?

ANDREAS: Beef, pork, game… It’s a matter of taste and money. Here for example we have a sausage made from elk with a lot of meat in it, so that’s excellent, we’ll take it. But then there’s cheaper hot dogs full of water and potato flour and other stuff we don’t want, so we won’t choose those.

JOURNALIST: But, how strict are you?

ANDREAS: I’m pretty strict, but sometimes I’ll have some potatoes or bread because I don’t have the need to avoid it completely. It’s if you have problems with your weight or blood sugar that it pays off to be strict. You can choose yourself what makes you feel good and what’s comfortable.

JOURNALIST: Fish and shellfish…

ANDREAS: Fish and shellfish are perfect LCHF foods. Fresh shrimps, salmon, just choose what you like.

ANDREAS: We now approach the egg shelves, and eggs are a very typical low carb food. For breakfast, boiled or omelette… You could for example choose organic eggs, great food!

JOURNALIST: Andreas, your new book is called “Matrevolutionen” [“The Diet Revolution”], when did it begin and what does it say?

ANDREAS: I think the revolution is underway as more and more Swedes realize that you don’t have to be afraid of natural fats, that you can eat real food until satisfied and lose weight, get better health… More and more doctors and nurses also begin to open their eyes to this. So I think we’ll see more of this in Sweden, that more Swedes will eat better food and will get healthier.

Link to the broadcast of the show at SVT online. (Unfortunately it’s only available during 30 days after first sent.)
Link to Andreas Eenfeldts blog “the Diet Doctor”.

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