A Global Epidemic
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become a worldwide concern, impacting millions of individuals.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are 382 million diabetics globally, with over four million residing in the UK. A staggering 90% of these are diagnosed with Type 2, while the remaining 10% have Type 1.
Many affected individuals experience poor health, ranging from low energy levels to severe complications like amputations, blindness, and even organ failures leading to death. This epidemic not only causes immense personal suffering but also places a significant financial burden on governments.
It All Started to Go Wrong in the 80’s
The root of this epidemic can be traced back to the 1980s. This decade saw a shift in health advice, with experts and governments advocating for reduced fat intake. They also recommended that diabetics maintain a steady intake of carbohydrates. However, recent studies have shown that carbohydrates can elevate blood glucose levels similarly to many sugary foods.
Instead, we should be focusing on consuming healthy fats found in full-fat dairy products like cheese and yoghurt, along with low-carb foods such as unprocessed meat, fish, berries, and eggs.
Diagnosis and Cause
Diabetes is identified by an excess of sugar in the bloodstream. This excess sugar can disrupt the body’s normal functions by adhering to proteins, leading to various health issues.
In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. However, when the pancreas is damaged, it can’t produce enough insulin to manage the sugar in the blood. This damage can arise from several factors.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are adversely affected by sugar and carbs. In Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), the pancreas is damaged by another ailment, preventing insulin production. The exact cause of this damage remains unclear. T1D is often diagnosed in children, but adults can also develop it. It’s irreversible, and individuals must rely on regular insulin injections.
In most cases, T2D results from consistently consuming diets high in sugar and carbohydrates. Over time, the pancreas becomes overworked and can’t produce enough insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and the eventual diagnosis of T2D.
Despite evidence to the contrary, official guidelines still promote starchy foods for T2D patients. Consuming foods like pasta, rice, or potatoes can spike blood sugar levels as much as multiple chocolate bars.
Many health professionals continue to advise T2D patients to cut down on fats and increase carbohydrate intake. This advice can exacerbate the condition. Even those with Type 1 diabetes, who rely on insulin, struggle to manage the glucose spikes caused by high-carb diets.
It’s perplexing that, despite recent research, many health experts continue to offer outdated advice. This reluctance to adapt can have severe consequences for those following traditional guidelines.
The Way Forward
There’s a growing body of evidence, supported by numerous case studies, showing that a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet can reverse T2D. Many who adopt this diet can reduce or even eliminate their reliance on medication. By significantly cutting sugar intake, there’s a good chance the pancreas can recuperate.
|Professor Tim Noakes
|Emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town. Advocated for carb loading for athletes but later developed T2D. Re-evaluated dietary guidelines and became a leading figure in the campaign to revamp nutrition policies.
|Dr David Unwin
|GP based in Southport. Pioneered the use of low carb in his practice. Recognised as NHS Innovator of the Year in 2016. Achieved significant patient improvements with low carb methods.
|Dr Ian Lake
|GP from Gloucester with T1D. Believes in the benefits of the low carb approach for both T1D and T2D.
|Diabetes nurse in Somerset. Achieved excellent results using low carb to treat T2D and was nominated for a national award.
|Dr Jason Fung
|Nephrologist from Toronto. Successfully treated T2D patients and advocates fasting as an initial step to reverse T2D.
|Virta Treatment Program
|USA-based program that supports T2D patients in reducing carb intake. Showed positive results in a study, with patients experiencing reduced HbA1c levels, weight loss, and decreased medication use.
Champions of the Low Carb Approach
An increasing number of global health experts and researchers are endorsing the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet.
Professor Tim Noakes, a renowned emeritus professor from the University of Cape Town, once advocated for a traditional diet. However, after developing Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and having previously recommended carbohydrate loading for athletes, he revisited the evidence behind dietary guidelines. He soon realized that these guidelines had significant flaws and publicly acknowledged his previous misconceptions. Despite facing criticism and accusations of professional misconduct, he remains a vocal advocate for revising traditional nutrition policies.
Dr. David Unwin, a GP from Southport, and his team have been at the forefront of implementing low carb diets in their medical practice. Their efforts have garnered both national and international acclaim. In 2016, Dr. Unwin was recognized as the NHS Innovator of the Year. Patients under his low carb regimen reported improved well-being, significant weight loss, better blood glucose control, and a notable reduction in blood pressure. His success has inspired other medical professionals to adopt similar approaches.
Dr. Ian Lake, a GP from Gloucester with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), believes that the low carb approach is beneficial for both T1D and T2D patients.
In Somerset, Catherine Cassell, a dedicated diabetes nurse, has been achieving remarkable results using a low carb approach to treat T2D, earning her a nomination for a national award.
Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist from Toronto, has successfully treated numerous T2D patients. He recommends fasting as the primary step in a regimen