The low-carb diet is slowly gaining recognition by medical professionals
Nutrition The Diabetes.co.uk forum has long championed the low-carb diet. Despite its effectiveness, the diet was for a long time resisted by medical professionals. Slowly but surely, that seems to be changing.
For years, people with diabetes have been improving their blood glucose control through a low-carb diet. Success stories are plentiful. Wherever there has been a channel for discussion, where diabetics can share their expertise and experience, the consensus has been clear: low-carb is the way forward.
And yet, despite its popularity, the low-carb diet has been resisted by medical professionals. On the NHS website, people with diabetes are advised to "increase [their] consumption of [...] wholegrain bread and cereals," thereby increasing their carb intake, and cutting fat. The low-carb diet is clearly effective, but official sources continue to promote old-fashioned and outdated dietary information.
Slowly but surely, this is changing. Dr. David Unwin, a GP working in Southport, was “impressed and moved” when he discovered the Diabetes.co.uk low-carb success stories. Inspired by discussions on the Diabetes.co.uk forum, Dr. Unwin ran a pilot study with 19 type 2 diabetes patients, calling the results “hugely promising”.
A low-carb diet improved blood glucose control (by the end of the study, seventeen of the nineteen patients had healthy HbA1c levels), improved weight loss, and lowered blood pressure.
Dr. Unwin knew that by publishing the results of his study in a peer-reviewed journal, the low-carb diet would be given the serious attention it warranted. People with diabetes would have something authoritative to show to their doctor as they argued the case for low-carb. He documented the findings in an article called “Low carbohydrate diet to achieve weight loss and improve HbA1c in type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes: experience from one general practice”, and it was published in Practical Diabetes.
Low-carb is slowly gaining recognition. Last year saw the publication of Dr. David Cavan's Reverse Your Diabetes. In the book, which is published in association with Diabetes.co.uk, Dr. Cavan argues that a carb-restricted diet is ideal for most people with type 2. Followed carefully, in combination with exercise and blood glucose testing, the diet can lead to complete reversal of the condition.
The low-carb diet has come a long way from its humble origins, but it hasn't yet gone far enough. It needs full-blown mainstream acceptance.