Could going low-carb help you fight off diabetes? The usual advice for Type 2 is to eat plenty. But now a number of patients and doctors are leading a growing rebellion
For more than 30 years, the official advice to people with diabetes has been to ensure starchy carbo-hydrates, such as pasta, rice and potatoes, feature heavily in every meal while fats should be kept to a minimum.
But is it right? Not according to the increasing number of patients and doctors leading a grassroots rebellion against the standard advice.
They argue for a low-carb approach, claiming it can be more effective for weight loss and blood sugar control.
‘The low-carb diet has several beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes,’ says Dr Clare Bailey, a GP in Buckinghamshire, and wife of TV doctor Michael Mosley.
‘If it were a drug, companies would be running large trials to get it licensed.’
She and others want a low-carb diet to be offered to patients as another option, rather than the ‘high carbs for all’ advice.
The low-carb approach is a variation on the low-carb, high-protein Atkins diet, which was popular in the Nineties. Overweight people who had type 2 diabetes found that as well as shedding pounds, it stopped big rises in their blood sugar.
Keeping blood sugar under control is vital as it helps reduce the risk of diabetes complications such as heart disease and damage to the blood vessels (which can lead to ulcers and even amputation).
Around 80 per cent of the £20 billion the NHS spends on diabetes care goes on treating complications, says Diabetes UK.
Low-carb fans claim this diet is better for people with type 2 diabetes because they can’t handle glucose effectively. Since all carbohydrates, from refined flour to wholegrains and fresh vegetables Continue reading