Hold the Toast

In its relentless pursuit of profit, the food and drugs industry is adding a toxic substance to our food. It is highly addictive and it engenders life-threatening disease.

A conspiracy theory. You’ve heard of the X-files? This is the why file.

All these press reports recently about rising levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, not just in adults, but children too. The way they are written makes you feel as though it is all your fault. Well, it isn’t.

Consider the basics of what we eat: protein, fats and carbohydrates. Protein is essential to life, as are fats. Without these we sicken and ultimately we die. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are not essential to life. They do contain certain minerals and vitamins that we need, but carbohydrates themselves are not essential to life.

In the absence of carbohydrates, our bodies use ketones as an energy source. Ketones are metabolites produced by burning fat. This fat comes either from dietary fats or stored fat. We do not need carbohydrates for fuel.

However, if you ate no protein for a week, you’ll feel okay. You might find yourself warming to the Moonies and Scientologists, but you’ll feel okay. Similarly, if you ate no fat for a week, you’ll feel okay – wouldn’t want to live like it forever, but doing okay. But try abstaining from carbohydrates for just a day or two and you’ll feel awful; headaches, shaky, mood swings, nausea, poor concentration

Hey! Aren’t they the symptoms of drug withdrawal? And have you ever heard of an addiction that is good for you?

So what would happen if you did manage to go cold turkey for a couple of weeks? As well as having loads more energy, guess what clears up? Among other things: indigestion, aching joints, headaches, skin problems.

Guess which over-the-counter medicinal products are BIG money? Indigestion remedies, pain killers, skin potions and lotions.

Now look at all this healthy food: roast chicken, ham, corned beef (protein); mackerel and salmon (protein and omega 3 fats); baked beans (protein and fibre); bread (the staff of life); Yakult – full of good gut-friendly bacteria. Oh! Hold on. Yakult is made from water, skimmed milk, sugar.

Look at the ingredient labels of those foods. They’ve all had sugar added to them. Why? I’ll tell you why.

Sugar – in all its forms – is a highly addictive substance. And it is added to almost every form of processed food. Why? Because the marketing suits have found that adding sugar to a product causes sales to rise.

Look at this little baby. The market leader in the diet industry. After water and skimmed milk, the next ingredient by volume is – sugar! All the mainstream meal-replacements are essentially high carbohydrate – with added sugar.

And sugar isn’t just addictive. Sugar makes you fat!

The gut breaks down all carbohydrates to glucose. The simpler the carbohydrate, the more quickly it is digested and enters the blood stream. When blood glucose levels reach a certain point, the pancreas releases insulin to remove and store the excess glucose as glycogen; the excess glycogen is converted and stored as fat.

Now as most of us have been raised on a Western sugar-rich diet, we’re already addicted, so when the insulin has done its job, we feel a craving for – hmm, something a little carby: chocolate, pizza, maybe a bowl of Frosties. And so the cycle continues.

That’s why low-fat high carbohydrate diets don’t work. And the diet industry knows this; but it’s not in its interest to tell you that.

Did you know that until the 1920s, heart disease was rare? What changed? Mass processing of food and the increasing addition of sugar to our diets.

So there you are – fat, lethargic, diseased heart and arteries, exhausted pancreas – pretty much dead on your feet. Better see the doctor – maybe he can prescribe something.

Would it surprise you if I told you that, for example, the conglomerates that own the companies producing these sugar-enhanced food [examples shown] also own pharmaceutical companies involved in the manufacture of drugs designed to treat cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems?

So tomorrow’s breakfast is bacon and eggs, but hold the toast.

[696 words] I’ve followed a low-carbohydrate lifestyle for the past year and I’m fairly evangelical about it. I found I had to resort to my notes about half-way into the speech and again found I locked into them. I would perhaps have found my way back without them if I’d given myself a little time to pause – easier said than done! I used the technique of addressing the back of the room to encourage me to project my voice a little better.

Guests and Club Members' Comments

"Well done, Tessa. Good use of the floor, great eye contact. I loved the props. Great hand and facial gestures. You were clear and funny. Food for thought.”

“Very enjoyable. Very nice manner. I heard your voice much better this time – increased volume. I would have liked a more emphatic ending – like a booming voice for example”

“Yet another speech to make us all think – very interesting.”

“That was quite revealing and reflected excellent preparation I didn’t know marketers were so bad.”

“Everything was really brilliant” Only recommendation? Lose the notes.”

“Very interesting, great content, I liked the props.”

“Interesting topic. Spoke with sincerity. Maintained eye contact. Good visual aids to demonstrate topic.”

“Great use of props. Good demonstration of examples to back up conspiracy theory. Well researched.”

“I lost the thread a bit. Nice props, but handing them out did distract a bit.”

“Perhaps try projecting your voice a bit. Because with fast delivery, it may not carry to the back. Perhaps try speaking slower and louder.”

“Very interesting subject. Not sure I understood everything – maybe too complex a subject?”

“Amusing, but a bit difficult to hear at times.”

“A well-researched speech, delivered warmly as always. Be careful when using props – you sometimes spoke into the box. Well done on an interesting speech.”

“Very informative, interesting and well thought out. Could have benefited from a little more practice.”

“Addictive? Have you tried cigarettes?”

“Very informative. Don’t read out part of your speech. It detracts from the conviction. Good use of props.

“Very informative and entertaining. I totally agree it’s a conspiracy. Very capable, articulate and well research speech.”

“Always improving and a delight to listen too.”

“Excellent informative speech. Good use of props. Recommendation: try to make eye contact right around room.”