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What to believe about Diet?

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

No surprise, people are confused about diet for health.  I just finished reading, “Ultra-Processed People” an excellent book by Chris van Tulleken. He suggests that the principal driver of our poor health epidemic, is the prevalence of Ultra-Processed foods (UPF).  The growth of these has been meteoric.  Today over 50% of UK diet is UPF.

What is UPF?  Food made in factories with stuff you don’t have at home.  With ingredient names you have never heard of like carboxymethylcellulose.  He suggests that these industrial processes and foreign substances drive poor health outcomes.

Just recently I read “The Cancer Code”, by Dr Jason Fung.  He blames the rise in metabolic syndrome (Diabetes, Obesity, Heart disease and Cancer) on excess insulin which is a growth hormone.  A diet with a high level of carbohydrates, excess sugars, snacking plus increased levels of cortisol from the impact of chronic stress, raises insulin levels.

Cancerous cells occur continuously and are usually immediately removed by the action of our natural killer T-cells however these cells are diminished in people with excess adipose fat ( ), plus insulin, a growth hormone, encourages the growth of many types of cancer cells.  Most cancer cells live by feeding on glucose which is driven into the cell by excess insulin.  Breast cancer cells can have up to 6 times the level of insulin receptors as non-cancerous cells.

Dr Chris Knobbe has produced a book, “Ancestral Diet Strategy” which I have on my to-read list. He attributes the growth of metabolic syndrome plus advanced macular degeneration (AMD) of the eyes, to the huge increase in vegetable oils in todays diet.  In the USA people are now getting up to 30% of their calories from these oils which are endemic in todays food.   See "".

These vegetable oils only arrived into our diet about 100 years ago when AMD was virtually unknown. Today 1 person in 3 will suffer from this, causing serious eyesight degradation.  The growth in their consumption correlates perfectly with the rise in our epidemic of poor health.

So here are three experts who are giving different reasons for our health problems.  One doctor is blaming Ultra-Processed Food, another excess insulin and the third is blaming vegetable (seed) oils.  Perhaps these are closely related.

Vegetable (seed) oils are one of the most ultra-processed foods (UPF) available.  Most UPF include these unhealthy oils in their ingredients.  UPF is usually manufactured from carbohydrates (refined sugar, corn, grains, potato,) plus seed oils, which increase insulin rapidly plus they usually have added chemicals sometimes fully synthetic.   

For example Polysorbate 80, (E433) is a common emulsifier in UPF products plus cosmetics.  In testing on mice it promoted colitis and metabolic syndrome, even at low concentrations.  ( ). Read ingredient lists to search out these additives.

To avoid all this, eat recognizable, real food, vegetables, fish, cheese, eggs, meat, fruit.

Seek professional medical advice before making dietary changes, particularly if taking medications.   Find my book at

Good health,  George Elder, Diet Researcher, Dip. Nutrition.

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