Nutrition professor Frans Kok is getting a little tired of hearing claims which come up every so often about how (un)healthy our food is. The latest example is the statement made by baker Menno 't Hoen on the opinion page of de Volkskrant newspaper that wholemeal bread is unhealthy and fattening. Absolute rubbish, says Kok.
Rubbish, says the nutrition professor. In food substances, there is a difference between fast and slow degradable carbohydrates. Vegetables, fruit and wholemeal bread have complex carbohydrates which are broken down slowly, Kok lectures. Highly processed products have mostly carbohydrates which break down quickly and are quickly absorbed by the blood stream. This is the complete opposite to what the baker claims. Kok: Whole meal bread does not cause big rises in the blood sugar level. On the other hand, processed wheat in white bread, white rice and cornflakes do give a glucose boost. There is nothing wrong with eating six to seven slices of wholemeal bread - not to be confused with processed brown bread - per day.
Kok often has to dispel myths and fables about our food which the press publishes. So he wrote a book last year in which he examined pseudoscience concerning our food, entitled Gezond eten, gewoon doen (eat healthily, just do it). He can now quote at length from this book since new 'theories' about the food we eat keep popping up. Currently, there are 16 million experts in the field of nutrition.