Three events I have attended in the last month highlight the fact that the Government’s Eatwell Guide is not just clearly unhealthy but indefensibly so.
low carb diet
On Monday I watched the C4 documentary ‘Food Unwrapped: Diet special’ because I’d been alerted to the fact that it featured Dr David Unwin and his success with the low carb diet as a way of treating diabetics.
Last week the front page of The Times carried a story that was an opening shot in a revolution. I’m sure that the editors didn’t intend it as that and that the readers didn’t see it that way either. It was a story about shifting from the long recommended low fat diet to one that cut back on carbohydrates instead. Standard fare for the cuddly lifestyle pages, hardly material for social upheaval.
There is a feature of mine in the Daily Mail today which deals with recent research showing the rapid benefit a high fat low carb diet can have on a dangerous disorder known as NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). You’ve probably heard about fatty liver disease in connection with drinking too much. This version looks like being the result of eating too much carbohydrate.
Given this blog’s commitment to tackling chromic disease by helping people change their lifestyle, I was delighted to discover that the BBC 1 was devoting its prime time 9.00 slot to a three part series about passionate young GP, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who goes to stay with patients and turns their unhealthy lifestyle around.
The sugar tax is obviously a very sensible idea but it’s much more than that. It’s prophetic, it’s a sign of a major change, it’s the swallow that could be heralding a medical summer. The tax is shorthand for a long running battle around what is a healthy diet, which turns out to be about a lot more than just diet.
How much longer can the charity Diabetes UK continue to provide advice on diet to the UK’s 3.9 million people with type 2 diabetes that is based on the discredited Seven Countries Study carried out by Ancel Keys back in the 1940s? The urgency of this question cannot be overstated.
Over the past year I have been wondering whether there is something deeply flawed about research into the effects of high fat diets on rats and mice, done presumably to clarify the effects on humans. The rodent work consistently tells us that high fat diets make you fat and diabetic, while research on humans finds they do the opposite. What is going on?
A few years ago Dr David Unwin stumbled upon the website for patients with diabetes, fairly easily confused with the official diabetes charity site. It was a revelation. “It had over 100,000 members and one of the most popular topics was the low carb high fat diet,” he says.