Diet advice for diabetics

Nina Teicholz shared an interesting anecdote with me recently. She had watched a public meeting where a senior figure involved in the US dietary guidelines said she wished people “would stop believing the ‘old wives tale’ of the low-fat diet”. The powers that be clearly want us to believe that they never issued that low-fat advice. Silly us – we must have dreamed it!

This is not just an anecdote; it’s a strategy. To come out and announce that they got things wrong could be very costly for governments and organisations, which have issued low fat/high carb dietary advice for decades. There could (and should) be law suits. People will have suffered obesity and type 2 diabetes, to say nothing of cancer, heart disease and mental illness, as a result of advice that has been so alien to what human beings have evolved to eat.

The strategy of such advising organisations seems to be to change advice, ideally with repeated subtle changes that are barely noticed over time, until the advice becomes half reasonable and advisors can deny ever having issued the bad advice in the first place. This avoids ever having to come out with the statement “we were wrong”, which could invite the legal action.

One of these subtle, yet seismic, shifts occurred in the draft dietary guidelines for Americans 2015. Check out p90 “Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for over consumption.” Crikey O’Riley! All those years of demonising eggs and seafood and telling us to avoid animal foods because of their dietary cholesterol content. All wrong. But we won’t say we were wrong – we’ll just say that this is no longer “a nutrient of concern.” Check out the full 571 pages for total fat if you like. You’ll find the 30% limit on total fat, issued in 1977, conspicuous in its absence. More accurately – it’s gone. Disparu. As if it never existed. You can just hear the US advisor saying how silly we were to believe that low-fat diet “old wives tale.”

The same is happening in the world of diabetes, so sod this subtle/unnoticed change malarkey – here is the shift in diabetes UK diet advice:

Thanks to the wonder that is the web archive site, here is the Diabetes UK advice on March 18th 2015.

Here is the same page on April 8th 2015.

Diabetes UK advice is based on the UK eatbadly plate, so you’ll see the five, so-called, food groups. (They are not food groups – try these).

Here are the key differences (vetbatim extracts are in italics). I’ve noted the issue with glucose under the category:

Daily recommended amounts Daily recommended amounts
Starchy foods

(glucose)

5-14 portions

One-third of your diet should be made up of these foods, so try to include them in every meal.”

[A slice of bread is given as an example portion – a diabetic was thus advised to eat the starch equivalent of up to 14 slices of bread every single day.]

 

Try to have some starchy food, especially the wholegrain options, everyday. Carbohydrates breakdown to glucose in the blood so keep an eye on how much you eat. Depending on your diabetes treatment, and nutritional goals, you may be advised to:

• estimate the amounts of carbs you are eating

• reduce the amount of carbs you eat

• choose healthier sources

• spread your intake through the day.

Fruit & veg

(glucose & fructose)

Aim for at least five portions” (5-a-day of course!) No change
Dairy products

(glucose & galactose)

Aim for three portions …

…choose lower fat alternatives (but look out for added sugar in its place)”

No change
Pulses beans & nuts (also provide glucose) Aim for 2-3 portions”

 

Include some food from this group everyday and aim for two portions of oily fish a week
Foods high in fat & sugar “Technically, your body doesn’t need any foods in this group, but eating them in moderation can be part a healthy, balanced diet” No change

You can see the unannounced, seismic, change in the Diabetes UK advice. “5-14 portions of starchy foods a day/one third of your diet” has become ‘have some every day, but you may well need to reduce your carb intake.’

This is good. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s still not enough. The whole eatbadly plate should be dropped. The key piece of advice should be “eat real food” and choose food for the nutrients that it provides and then you will naturally choose meat, fish, eggs, dairy, non-starchy vegetables and a few seeds. Five-a-day should be ditched 1) for being non-evidence based and 2) because fruit is essentially sugar (with far fewer nutrients than people think) and sugar is not going to help diabetics. The junk segment is not even worthy of comment. However – it’s a start – a move in the right direction.

What annoys me though is that Diabetes UK have not had the decency to come out and say “we were wrong; the low carb people were right and we’re sorry.”

Luckily for me, all I have is annoyance. Those who have followed the 5-14 portions of starch advice will likely have far more serious issues to face.

46 thoughts on “Diet advice for diabetics

  • Pingback:Conselho de dieta para diabéticos - Primal Brasil

  • avatar
    April 3, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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    Dear Zoe,

    I’m thirty years old and I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 11. When I was 18 I went on the insulin pump, and since then I have gained weight slowly and steadily and never been able to lose it. I’m now 10 stone 4Lb and only 5’2” and terrified. I was once a size UK 8, and now I’m pushing 14. I can’t tell you how depressing and disheartening it is to watch your friends who eat worse than you and exercise less, keep their weight down, OR watch friends make the same lifestyle changes I do such as exercise regularly, and eat moderately, and watch the pounds just melt off them. Much of the literature out there concerns diets for Type 2 diabetes, which is equally frustrating! I get why low carb works then. But I am required to have a constant drip feed of the ‘fat inducing’ hormone insulin – I understand that low carb diets mean that I won’t bolus extra insulin, but my resting basel rate is a constant – so how can I lose weight on this? Why does exercise do nothing for me? Why does low carb do nothing? I’ve tried everything, you name it : low carb/paleo/atkins/low fat/calories counting. I’ve tried natural remedies like capsaicin pills, green-tea extract; I’ve tried colon cleanses and lemon and hot water cleanses. Exercise-wise I’ve tried “just walking” jogging, HIIT, Swimming, Zumba, weight training – even had a personal fitness trainer for a while. Literally nothing makes the weight shift. Possibly the problem is I’ve tried too much! Who knows! However I do feel like a failure, and I’m really getting desperate. Any insight or help you can give, would be so appreciated.

    Reply
    • avatar
      April 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm
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      Hi L.B
      I’m so sorry to hear this – you’ve actually done incredibly well to be ‘only’ 10.4 after almost 20 years of insulin.

      I’m not a doctor and no doctor would try to advise you without knowing you and your history and your meds etc. What I can suggest is reading as much as possible about LCHF and diabetes and watching the many videos being posted on this. Dr Jason Fung is my fave for diabetes thinking. This is on type 2, but the principles about carbs and insulin are the same https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAwgdX5VxGc.
      Try “Diabetes no thanks” by lars-erik litsfeldt – he explains how he has used diet to manage diabetes – as have many others of both types.

      You do need insulin but you don’t need a defined amount of insulin. The less carbohydrate you eat, the less insulin you need. You are right to recognise that insulin is fattening – there are ways to reduce the need for it. Good luck finding out more about them!

      Best wishes – Zoe

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      • avatar
        April 17, 2016 at 10:23 am
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        Hi Zoe,

        Thank you so much for your kind words and all your advice. I went and had a look at Dr Fung’s advice on LCHF for type 1 diabetes which lead me to https://optimisingnutrition.com/about/

        This has all been completely enlightening, and I’m now trying to transition in to a Lowcarb, High Fibre/Natural Fat/Protein diet.

        However, what I wanted to say is that I also actually bought your book “Stop Counting Calories & start losing weight” and all I can say is WOW.

        I just completed the 5 day Phase 1 on Friday 15th April – lost 4lb’s – so 10st!!! (as of writing this on Sunday 17th Apr, in Phase 2, I’m now 9st13lb’s) This is unheard of for me! Better yet, my blood sugar levels have been ‘normal’ – I actually use a Continuous Blood Glucose monitoring system right now so can see my sugar levels 24/7 – my chart has flatlined where as before it was huge peaks and troughs. This is AMAZING.

        So. I’m now trying to transition to Phase 2 but actually having trouble weaning myself off Phase 1 – I’m a bit nervous to introduce things back in that a) make me use more insulin/upset my blood sugars or b) make me gain weight.

        My main question: Should I follow your Phase 2 program which is more adhered towards those suffering from hypoglycemia (probably the closest condition to me that you describe in your book)?

        I’m pretty sure I had not very much candida issue – and only a slight intolerance to milk/dairy.

        I have some questions for moving forward:

        1) Can I eat rye bread, and is it a carb? Or enough protein in the seeds to count as fat?
        2) Semolina (Durum wheat) is this ok? I assume it’s a carb, although again, it does have fairly high protein in it?
        3) Milk alternatives & cereals: One of my new favourite things is quinoa, and I wanted to ask if this would be ok for breakfast with some almond milk, or does the almond milk make it too fatty to mix?
        4) Any advice on “real foods” I can use to treat hypos effectively? Luckily I seem to be having less on this diet than ever before, but hypos are just something you need to prepare for as a diabetic – any advice on good foods for Phase 2 to treat this would be much appreciated.

        Secondly I have some food insights a for any other Type 1 diabetics thinking of following your program:

        1) Days 1-2 of Phase 1 I saw my blood sugars rise dramatically at points when eating protein. Don’t panic! By day 3-5 this stopped being an issue, and only saw a marginal insulin reaction to protein.

        2) Porridge – for me I discovered porridge oats were catastrophic for blood sugar levels – there was around a 20 minute delay and then suddenly my blood sugar levels climbed at a phenomenal rate (and left unchecked) reached 20! (normal levels are between 4-7). I find that a protein only breakfast is much better for me, and to have simple carbs like brown rice or quinoa at lunch or dinner.

        3) Hypos – I only broke the rules of Phase 1 twice, for hypos. One was at night, and so I reached for my standard hypo fix – a small juice box of organic orange juice. It is sugar, but I feel it’s the best of the bunch for me. Second time, I was awake and able to see the hypo coming, so tried using oats – because they’d had such a huge impact on raising blood sugars earlier in the week. The down side was they too 20 mins to kick in, but they did bring me back up, so much so that I also had to give a bit of insulin to counteract the ‘fast rise’ effect.

        Over all, as a Type 1 diabetic, I can’t recommend this “diet” (I think it’s really a lifestyle choice) enough – not least because Phase 1 allowed me to look and see exactly how my body was reacting to certain foods, and which made affected my blood sugars so dramatically.

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        • avatar
          April 17, 2016 at 10:37 am
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          Sorry, felt like my last paragraph wasn’t as clear as it could have been.

          Basically, I feel like your website and your book are the first sensible things I’ve seen about how to actually lose weight as a type 1 diabetic – and BONUS – it also means your blood sugars are much better AND allows you to look at your diet in quite a calm, measured way and see the affects of different foods on your insulin update/blood sugars.

          Anyway, BIG thank you, Zoe!

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          • avatar
            April 17, 2016 at 10:41 am
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            Hi LB
            Thank you too for your kind comments – will look at Qs later.
            Bye for now – Zoe

        • avatar
          April 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm
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          Hi L.B.
          We have a club for all questions about the diet: http://www.theharcombedietclub.com

          Most of it is on open view so put (e.g.) semolina in the search box and all the previous discussions about it will come up. If you want to ask these and get personal responses, you’d need to be a member – you get weekly newsletters, an ‘ask Zoe’ section and all sorts for the membership.

          Best wishes – Zoe

          Reply
  • avatar
    December 25, 2015 at 2:41 am
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    Keep up the good work Zoe, I recommend everyone to look at your Lecture and Website with responses of “It all makes sense” and “Why doesn’t my Dietitian know this?” I’m not sure what to think about DIABETES UK and the BDA! Even though conflicts of interest come into it, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. To recommend a lower Carb intake means telling people to eat more Fat! which is still being associated with heart disease! I am totally puzzled why the August BMJ announcement that “Saturated Fat is NOT associated with Heart Disease ,Stroke or Diabetes” is still being ignored by the Authorities!

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    • avatar
      January 4, 2016 at 8:44 am
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      Hi Ron
      You’ve nailed the issue – diabetes UK and the BDA are in this mess because they got fat wrong – and to admit we need to go lower in carb is to concomitantly admit we need to go higher in fat (high protein is not natural or healthy). They are now in the double mess that they don’t want to admit they were wrong. They need to listen to Alexander Pope – “For a man to admit he was wrong is but to admit he knows more today than he did yesterday” For some reason, they think that this is a failing!

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    December 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm
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    Hi Zoe
    I have only just found you but have spent most of this lazy Sunday reading your posts. I have spent most of my life consuming processed foods, smoking heavily and drinking way too much. I have always bought quality meats and veg after being brought up on a smallholding but slipped into the habit of eating cereals in a morning, taking sandwiches to work and firing mince onto cheap pasta at tea time. At the beginning of this year I read about the paleo diet and it made a lot of sense, so picked the bits that seemed most important (no grains, sugar, artificial oils) and lost 2 stone to date. Anyway, the crux of the matter, three months ago while touring Scotland even after 9 months of me and the wife eating 60% clean she had a heart attack, pretty scary moment as I got her to a hospital within 3 minutes of her loosing consciousness and having to be bought back. End result was a couple of stents and she now is diabetic which from my research could be related. Now she is on statins which the doctors insist is crucial (though my little sis who is a nutritionist says they have very little effect in females) and they are recommending the standard low fat diet. We are both eating pretty much as you recommend already so that is not a problem, but I do worry about the synthetic drugs. I do not know if it is in her best interests to carry on with taking the statins seeing as she has already had a heart attack or not.

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    • avatar
      January 4, 2016 at 9:00 am
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      Hi Chris
      So sorry for the delay in approving this – a month’s worth of comments have just appeared – I wondered why it had gone quiet! And so sorry to hear about your wife too – that sounds like a pretty horrific time for both of you :-(

      Did you know there’s a statins/diabetes lawsuit going on in the US? Google those words and you’ll see how massive it’s getting. Just wondered which came first – the statins or the diabetes?

      This gives further reading on statins and cholesterol http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/
      Your sis is right in my view – no evidence for any ‘benefit’ in females and extremely dubious as to what benefit means anyway – that link will take you to a journal articles suggesting high risk men? (can’t remember) may gain 3-4 days? Plus all the side effects. And – that’s not because cholesterol is lowered (that’s a serious side effect) but because statins have anti-inflammatory properties.

      Good luck deciding what to do on this one – but it should be your decision – don’t be bullied by white coats who may stand to benefit.

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 30, 2015 at 7:23 am
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    Hey Zoe, Thanks for sharing such article with us.

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  • avatar
    November 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm
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    Hi Zoe.

    Just been reading that prelim report for american dietary guidelines. There is a section about empty calories which has lumped fat/trans fat together with sugar/added sugars and called them ’empty calories’?

    How can that be justified when they are so different?

    I notice they are also going to encourage people to eat more of the so called healthy grains as apparently the american population is doing what they’re told yet!

    cheers

    nick.

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  • avatar
    November 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm
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    Back in the mid 1970s I was working for a GP in South Kensington. We didn’t have many diabetics in our panel, but the few we did have were instructed (by the GP, we didn’t have a dietician on staff) to keep their carb count to 50g/day or less. Of course, back then there weren’t so many diabetic “food products” available. I can only really remember Energen bread rolls which were tasteless and mostly air. I tried once once, after a patient had complained about how vile they were.

    IIRC, they were mostly pretty compliant and didn’t have many complaints about the “restrictive”diet. (Other than the Energen!) These days a “low carb” diet is 100 – 150g/day

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  • avatar
    November 21, 2015 at 9:09 am
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    Hi Zoe – I’m a newcomer to your excellent blog, mody diabetic since 1958, HFLC and trying to do all the right things. I watched an astonishing programme on C4 this week called “Doctor In The House” where I witnessed the most amazing about turn in advice for diabetics. Low, low, low carb and intermittent fasting. Rather loopy on sat fat – no cheese, cream, butter advice (I would surely die) but otherwise all good. This is how it’s going to be, I suppose – proper dietary advice dished out as if it’s always been there but naughty people choosing to ignore it.
    I can’t wait to explore your site in it’s entirety.
    Thank you so much
    Jan

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    • avatar
      November 21, 2015 at 9:13 am
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      Apologies for the misplaced apostrophe. It woz spellcheck wot dun it.

      Reply
    • avatar
      November 21, 2015 at 9:38 am
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      Hi Jan
      I think you mean the BBC prog? There were 2 progs out this week: Doctor in YOUR House (Ch 4 Tue) and Doctor in THE House (BBC1 Thur). The BBC prog was the one with the low carb/fasting/walking – brilliant stuff. The t2d’s hand has been saved and his life extended no doubt.

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
      • avatar
        November 28, 2015 at 10:32 am
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        Zoe – I’m totally with you on centring one’s diet around: meat, fish, eggs, dairy, non-starchy vegetables and some seeds. I avoid all grains wherever I possibly can – and load on dairy and all saturated fats. In fact, I eat loads of the above every day, feel fantastic and yet carry no excess weight! But you don’t mention nuts (which I also eat a lot of) – and why only some seeds? Can you advise?

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        • avatar
          November 29, 2015 at 8:34 am
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          Hi Peter
          Nuts and seeds are very nutritious but they are nature’s rare foods…
          Nature tends to provide fat proteins (meat/fish/eggs/dairy) or carb proteins (fruit/veg/starch). There is some carb in dairy and you’ll even find traces of fat in blueberries – but by and large those distinctions hold. Nuts, seeds & avocados are foods where fat carb and protein are all found in good measure. If you’ve read any of my diet books, I explain why having carb/protein meals OR fat/protein meals is best for weight loss. These unusual foods break that rule and enable the body to use glucose provided for energy and store fat for later on – not what you want to be doing if you’re trying to lose weight.

          Plus – the fat/carb combo – being rare in nature – is one that fake food manufacturers have capitalised upon. There is something attractive and moreish about this combo – if you can have a few nuts and you’re not overweight fine, but if you can’t stop at a few and/or you’re overweight, nuts and seeds are best avoided.

          Sounds like you personally don’t need to worry!
          Best wishes – Zoe

          Reply
  • avatar
    November 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm
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    WRT re-writing history; I have a booklet published by the Department of Health advocating the Eatwell Plate, and basing meals on starchy carbohydrates, and no doubt many other individuals have these publications as well. Will all these copies all be considered forgeries? In addition, the “low-fat/high carbohydrate diet is best” message is still being taught in primary schools. All 3 of my children have such advice in this term’s workbooks. One of the form teachers showed me their teaching material, and it even has the (now defunct) food pyramid.

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    • avatar
      November 21, 2015 at 9:35 am
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      Hi Laura – hang on to them! We can document the rewriting of history :-)
      Best wishes – Zoe

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        • avatar
          November 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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          Thanks for posting this Bex.

          I just had a scan of their site after reading the bit that says they base the advice on the website on the latest research!

          Just go to the ‘Cholesterol’ and ‘Healthy Eating’ bit and take a read. Anyone still advising that we should be eating more margerine and that saturated fat is bad for you is obviously not following the latest research!!

          I would be ashamed to be associated with an organisation like this……I still have trouble understanding why they do it?………Willful ignorance??

          cheers

          Nick.

          Reply
          • avatar
            November 29, 2015 at 8:19 pm
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            Money. Look at their sponsors.

            The BDA have nothing to crow about, if you look at the stats provided by the NHS less than 10% of Type 1 diabetics and around 25% of Type 2s achieve an HbA1c below 6.5%. This has been the same for around a decade to my knowledge, the only change is that the number of diabetics has increased hugely.

            You only have to look at EPIC-Norfolk (Kay-Tee Khaw) and the five year followup, and a huge New Zealand stufy (Elley et al) to see a linear increase in CVD risk with A1c starting from a truly normal A1c which is below 5%. Not many doctors or nurses let alone dieticians have ever heard of these studies – they are far more convincing than anything relating to “cholesterol”.

            There must by now be thousands of diabetics who maintain an A1c below 6% and a significant number, including Type 1s, who get below 5%. Not one of them follows the BDA recommended HCLF diet. Not one.

            But then dieticians are expressly paid not to notice outcomes. OK a few exceptions . . . not working for the NHS though.

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    November 16, 2015 at 8:10 pm
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    Thanks and great reveal Zoe. The comparison of the recommendations using the web-site archives is classic, and seems to point to an organization that has figured out it was wrong but cannot admit it was while desperately trying to save face. I admire your analysis and investigations which cut to the heart of matters, and your presentation at the LCHF Summit along with the works of Taubes, Teicholtz and Kendrick have turned me into an informed zealot promoting LCHF to others.

    Keep up the great work..!

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  • avatar
    November 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm
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    Reading this, my decision back in 2010 to go against the then advice from the Diabetic Experts in my local surgery leaves me feeling just a bit chuckle bunny.
    Zoe it would be really nice if they were to just even say sorry but don’t hold your breath.
    Well I’m a bit older now and still on the right side of healthy for a T2, I shall content myself with the knowledge that they have to find the excuses not me.

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    November 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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    Hi Zoe.

    Great post!

    It’s not surprising at all is it……….I think George Orwells 1984 must have been handed out to most dietary advisers to all governments and told to use it as a road map for the ignorant masses.

    I’ve recently re-read the book (1984) and what you have just described is exactly how ‘Big Brother’ works it’s magic to re-write the past to match the present!

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious a subject.

    Keep up your work Zoe……it’s helped me to understand food and diet much more clearly and has forced me to research things that I would have just taken at face value before now!

    best wishes

    nick.

    Reply
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    November 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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    I’ve never understood why fat and sugar are lumped together. Why can’t this be “foods high in sugar” instead? I eat foods high in fat all the time (cheese, fatty meats, fatty fish), in fact I aim for 70-80% fat with each meal. Yet, there’s zero sugar. Really, it’s the sugar that’s dangerous.

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      November 16, 2015 at 4:25 pm
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      Yes and I wonder about bacon. When I fry up some bacon that list sugar as a significant ingredient, I find a layer of black goo stuck to the frying pan. It is very difficult to remove. It reminds me of wall paper paste made from corn starch only it is burnt. Is the sugar in some bacons the cancer causing agent supposedly in bacon?

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      November 24, 2015 at 9:56 am
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      Actually, you missed out ‘salt’.

      Whenever there is a discussion about diet on the TV, or radio, there invariably seems to be some bouncy ‘expert’ on diet* who uses the stock phrases, “eat lots of HEALTHY fruit and vegetables which are PACKED with nutrients”, and, “avoid foods loaded with fat, sugar and salt”.

      I personally think the salt facists are worse than the lot of the other ‘experts’. As long as one has working kidneys, then the body can perfectly well manage its salt levels.

      * The ‘bouncy’ expert is usually straight of dietitian school (or works for a local authority), and is usually in her 20s and thinks that the fact that they are slim is because they control their calorific input precisely (when she is 50, she will probably be overweight having done permanent damage to her insulin receptors having eaten a low fat diet).

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    November 16, 2015 at 2:38 am
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    Hi Zoe, Im so pleased that you’ve exposed this bad science and hopefuly medics & healthy people will take note, I unfortunately took the wrong advice in the eary eighties thinking that I would live long and healthy but now I have Diabetes, Angina, & CVD. I avoided saturated fat & cholesterol and increased carbohydrates as I was advised, I’m 67 years old with a pension from an “anuity” makes you wonder if someone else has a financial interest in this bad science, George.
    P.S. I’ve stopped taking the statins and my GP did’nt comment.

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    November 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm
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    We’re inching painfully forward, but fat is still in the same category as sugar and junk food. So, diabetics have some sort of warning about carbohydrates but have nowhere else to go until the anti-animal fat agenda changes. The guidelines need to free themselves from the influence of those committed and vocal vegetarians who want to force their choice on others.

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    November 15, 2015 at 6:55 pm
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    Let me guess, the US “dietary authority has names beginning with W and works at a University starting with H?

    I suggest people should archive the advice before it is changed. The Wayback Machine will access pages from the past but only if you have their URL. I can recall a silly argument on a diabetes newsgroup where someone was adamant that the ADA NEVER had pages called “Eat More Starch!” and “Make Starch The Star!” because they had taken them down, and then that copies of pages people had downloaded had been forged. Likewise for the pages listing their previous sponsors which included General Mills and I think Kelloggs, now conspicuous by their absence. History IS being rewritten. We live in interesting times.

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    November 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm
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    I have always said we will know when we have hit the tipping point because those who were opposing LCHF will start claiming credit. It looks like Diabetes UK is slowing moving in that direction.

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    November 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    And, just had a look at the UK advice for diabetics. Although it’s a slight improvement, they still recommend a “low fat diet”. Of course fat can blunt the blood sugar response to eating carbohydrate, so they’ve still got that wrong. As regards the “5 a day” advice, I agree that lots of fruit is most likely not good for diabetics- (Atkins used to bemoan the fact that “fruits and vegetables” were always lumped together, since they are two very different things).

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    November 15, 2015 at 2:42 pm
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    Zoe- thanks, this is fascinating! I was aware that the American guidelines had very quietly and without fanfare changed their advice on cholesterol; I wasn’t aware of any change in managing diabetes. Unfortunately, by sneaking in the changes like this, most people (and possibly many doctors and nutritionists as well)- will probably be unaware of it, and continue to eat/ make recommendations in the manner to which they are accustomed.

    I would also like to point out a further tactic that they use to defer blame: and that is what I call “blaming the individual”. I skimmed the first part of the link you posted to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and they essentially blame the obesity epidemic and most chronic disease on individual dietary patterns; i.e., “Americans are not doing what we tell them to do”. They claim that we don’t “eat enough fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and fish”, and of course we eat too much “saturated fat, meat, sugar, and sodium”. Interestingly, all the foods they recommend we eat “more of”- except for the fish- are all carbohydrate foods (some more than others, but still). This is basically a mixed message: “eat more carbohydrate foods, but you might need to lower carbohydrate intake”. I guess if you make it complicated and confusing enough, nobody can blame you for giving the wrong advice!

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    • avatar
      November 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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      In college we had a saying for that approach: “If you can’t bedazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with b*llsh*t.”

      Unfortunately, it really didn’t help me much.

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    November 15, 2015 at 2:28 pm
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    They are slowly bringing down the carbs, but you are also not supposed to eat fat. If they keep going like this, they will wind up with a low sugar, low carb, high protein diet, and that will result in Rabbit Starvation, that even paleo man knew was dangerous.

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    November 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm
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    I don’t believe that Helen Hitler exists. It is a nom de guerre, surely.

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    November 15, 2015 at 9:49 am
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    {I also posted this in another tread]

    What do you think Zoe !!

    Surely this can not be right. It is counter to all that I have read of late about artificial sweeteners and weight gain (let alone health). Looks like this Professor Peter Rogers at University of Bristol could be another Professor Rory Collins (bought and paid for).

    http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ijo2015177a.html

    http://www.sweeteners.org/en/press-enquiries-contact/42-fens2015-event/351-about-prof-peter-rogers

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  • avatar
    November 15, 2015 at 7:07 am
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    Thanks for the heads up and sharing your frustration. Also, LOL at the ‘Crikey O’Riley!’

    A couple of months ago, I listened to a dietician on You Tube go through this long convoluted argument about the diabetic and obesity epidemics. It boiled down to blaming the cause of the epidemics on the victims of the low fat diet and the food companies for making a profit. But no, the dietitians’ hands are clean and in fact have suffered undue blame.

    Well, my temperature went up a few degrees and then I commented. I explained how they, other medical professionals and their organizations were mainly to blame and why. Then I added that they should be sued out of existence. That touched a few nerves. Many defended the dietitians and a few made it clear how stupid they thought that idea was. But I defended my arguments. That is, until, someone with the handle, Helen Hitler, started commenting and was impressively aggressive and obnoxious. That helped stop my comments, but also I was comfortable that I had said enough.

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  • avatar
    November 15, 2015 at 5:08 am
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    I bet they could get around any legal issues if they tried hard enough. All of this is still pretty darned ‘vague’. If I were ‘the boss’ I’d make it real simple, straightforward… ie: for T2DM… (1) Perform blood glucose test to determine your individual carb tolerance amount (in grams) per intake (range between upper & lower limits) that you can clear within the timeframe before your next intake; (2) Ensure you ingest all the essential nutrients (from a list of all nutrient sources); (3) Avoid foods that are inflammatory to you (get tested for these); (4) Stick to these rules; (5) Monitor results & adjust as required.

    Reply
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  • avatar
    November 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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    This whole thing tracks pretty much right on with The Evolution Of Willett (and Harvard).

    Each year his position becomes saner, but if you compare it to 5-10 years earlier it’s like “WTF were you thinking?”, so look to his thoughts and you’ll see what the overall guidelines will reflect in the next couple years.

    Reply
  • avatar
    November 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm
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    My feeling is that the advice for diabetics is bad, but the general advice for ordinary people is just as bad. I just cannot see how the equivalent of 14 slices of bread can be good for anyone. As Prof Tim Noakes says there are three rules for good diet: (1) Eat real food; (2) Cut the carbs; and (3) Learn to cook. Rules to live by.

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