Tuesday, 10 June 2014

GPs report success when recommending a low carb diet to diabetics

A surgery in Southport has documented a limited trial of recommending a low carb diet to patients with impaired glucose tolerance. Patients were offered dietary advice and either short consultations or longer monthly meetings to provide education and gain feedback.

The recommended diet was not ultra-low carbs, but the central emphasis was to cut out sugar, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes altogether, eat lots of good vegetables and to increase the consumption of good fats.  A key part of the trial was to provide the education that patients needed in order to embrace the diet.

The trial was a success with all patients achieving substantial weight loss. Waist circumference decreased significantly, blood glucose control improved and total serum cholesterol decreased (an increase would traditionally have been expected here) Almost half the patients were able to come off medication of one type or another in just a few months).

Here is the full report of the trial written by Dr David Unwin and Dr Jen Unwin. http://www.practicaldiabetes.com/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/espdi/file/March%202014/PP%20Unwin%20final%20proofs%20revised.pdf

Futher to this Dr Unwin today reports that the number of patients on the scheme has more than doubled since this report was written and the figures are just as good.

Could this be the start of something big?

The NHS has been allowing GPs to refer patients to Weight Watchers and Slimming World for some time, but with the average weight loss from these companies being just 3% you have to wonder why. This is not good enough.  The diets recommended by these groups are still highly carbohydrate-loaded, and this is why they should be rejected as being nutritionally imbalanced and unhealthy.

The low carbohydrate diet recommended in this trial offers the opportunity to lose significant weight and come of medication. That has to be better than a life of Watching your Weight or a World where Slimming does not work.

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