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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

UK study shows low-carb diet helps to control diabetes

From The Times
London, UK
31 May, 2016

Low-carb diet helps to control diabetes

The biggest pilot study of a low-carbohydrate diet to treat type 2 diabetes has shown that it may successfully control the condition.

A review of more than 80,000 people who ditched their low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet found that their blood-glucose levels dropped after ten weeks. The results have led doctors to call for an overhaul of official dietary guidelines.

The study came about as a consequence of an online revolt by patients in which 120,000 people signed up to the “low-carb” diet plan launched by the forum in a backlash against official advice.

By rejecting guidelines and eating a diet low in starchy foods but high in protein and “good” saturated fats, such as olive oil and nuts, more than 80 per cent of the patients said that they had lost weight, with 10 per cent shedding 9kg (20lb) or more.

More than 70 per cent of participants experienced improvements to blood glucose, and a fifth said at the end of the ten-week plan that they no longer needed drugs to regulate blood glucose.

About 2.7 million people in Britain have type 2 diabetes, a condition that goes hand in hand with obesity. A further 750,000 people are thought to have undiagnosed symptoms. Costing more than £8.8 billion directly and indirectly each year, it is a defining issue for public health.

Frustrated doctors, nutritionists and diabetes specialists called for the “absurdly simplistic” guidelines, promoted by Public Health and the national charity Diabetes UK, to be rewritten. The results of the study, however, have not yet been replicated in a controlled and peer-reviewed trial.

A report by Britain’s National Obesity Forum last week urged people to ignore public health advice and “eat fat to get thin”. The group was criticised for calling for people to reduce carbohydrates and stop counting calories.

The majority of the 120,000 people who have signed up to the low-carb diet plan since November suffer from weight-related type 2 diabetes. More research needs to be done into whether restricting carbohydrates in type 1 patients of normal weight has a significant effect on glycemic control.

“The results from the low-carb plan have been impressive and this is a solution that is clearly working for people with type 2 diabetes,” Arjun Panesar, chief executive officer of, said.

David Unwin, a family doctor and clinical expert in diabetes, is one of a growing number of clinicians treating patients with this diet. “For many years I followed the advice given by PHE and Diabetes UK,” he said. “It didn’t go well. They really struggled to lose weight, their blood glucose remained high and many relied on medication.”

A recent study of 18 of Dr Unwin's patients resulted in an average weight loss of 8kg after cutting out carbohydrates; blood-glucose levels returned to “normal” in all but two.

“Many diabetics know not to put sugar in their tea but very few are aware that the toast they have at breakfast or rice at dinner may be wreaking havoc with their blood glucose. This is because when starchy carbohydrates like potato or pasta are broken down in the body by digestion the starch turns to sugar,” he said.

Some experts remain dubious about the direct link between carbohydrates and lower blood glucose.

“The robust evidence is that any diet which helps weight loss in diabetes will help improve patients metabolic levels since it is weight more than anything that drives diabetes development,” Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said. “All diets work regardless of whether they are high-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate, so long as folks stick to them.”

A spokeswoman from PHE said: “Our advice, agreed with Diabetes UK, is that people with diabetes should consume a diet consistent with the Eatwell Guide. The evidence considered by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition for its Carbohydrates and Health report does not support following a low-carbohydrate diet to prevent type 2 diabetes.”

Case studies

David Plant, 66, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2009 but ignored it for a long time.

“I had a wake-up call in a recent six-monthly check up,” he said.

“My HbA1c and triglyceride [indicators for diabetes] results had markedly deteriorated and after checking my weight I was horrified.

“My GP was supportive of me adopting a low-carb lifestyle. In four months I’ve lost 14.5 kilos [32lb], taking me from a body mass index of 28 into a ‘normal’ range of 23.4. I feel much better now; I’m nowhere near as tired or hungry as I was before. This isn’t a diet, it’s a change of lifestyle. It may seem slow at the time but you see results in just a few weeks.

“I found it frustrating at first, but in hindsight it was a lot to take on and has helped me maintain the lifestyle. At my original weight, walking uphill was a struggle. It’s a completely different story now; I’ve got lots more energy and motivation.”

Michele O’Sullivan, 49, a mother of three from Telford in Shropshire with type 2 diabetes, has lost more than 25kg on a low carbohydrate diet. She has managed to reverse her diabetes and says she “feels better than when [she] was 35”.

A former nurse, she battled for several years with pre-diabetes, which results in “crazy food binges” and dangerous spikes in blood pressure.

“No matter how hard I tried, my weight remained static,” she said. After three months on a low-carb diet her metformin dosage halved and now, two years later, she is medication free.

Eat Well guidelines

•Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain where possible

•Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day

•Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts). Choose lower-fats and lower-sugar options

•Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein

Low-carb plan

•Replace carbohydrates with green vegetables and pulses, which should make up most of the plate

•Eat at least five portions fruit and vegetables a day

•Have a small portion of protein with most meals

•Consume dairy, such as full-fat milk and butter, in moderation

•Olive oil, nuts and other healthy saturated fats are welcome

•Avoid anything with added sugar

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Asparagus soup and more !

Chef Paul Rankin, remember him from 'Ready, Steady, Cook' says, "make the most of the short asparagus season with this simple yet delicious soup." ... well that's a good idea isn't it!


Serves Four
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
400g/14oz asparagus, finely chopped
500ml/18fl oz hot chicken stock (vegetarians may substitute vegetable stock)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp double (heavy) cream

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for four minutes, until softened.
2. Add the asparagus and cook for another two minutes.
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reduce the heat to simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the asparagus is cooked through.
4. Add the cream and blend with a hand blender until smooth.

More information about Asparagus:
Buyer's guide:
Asparagus is best when grown and picked fresh. Regardless of whether you’re buying thin 'sprue' asparagus or extra-large 'jumbo' spears, always choose stems that are firm and lush, rather than dry and wrinkly. Avoid any stems that are dis-coloured, scarred or turning slimy at the tips. If you're using whole spears, then make sure the buds are tightly furled. If you're making soup, though, you could also use the cheaper, loose-tipped spears you sometimes find on market stalls.

The less time it takes to get asparagus from the field to the plate, the better it will taste because the sugars in the plant start to turn to starch once it's picked. British-grown asparagus takes about 24 hours to get from plant to supermarket shelf, but it's worth checking the sell-by dates and visiting PYO farms for the freshest specimens you can find. Asparagus from outside the UK will spend longer in transport.

Despite what you may have read or heard, it's not necessary to buy an asparagus steamer, nor to bind the asparagus into a bundle and cook it upright in a pan. For the best results, wash the stems thoroughly in a sink full of cold water. Then trim the stalks and, if the lower part of the stem seems tough when sliced and eaten raw, lightly peel the bottom third of the stem. Drop loose spears into a pan of boiling water and cook until just tender. The cooking time varies according to the thickness of the stems, but ranges between 3-5 minutes. Once it's cooked, drain and pat dry on kitchen paper. If you're serving it cold, you'll get the best flavour if, rather than cooling under the cold tap, you spread the hot asparagus out to cool on some kitchen paper.

Fresh, tender asparagus can be served raw:

Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin shavings into a salad and dressing it with a lemon vinaigrette, or serve it whole with aioli for dipping. White asparagus is particularly good raw.

This information from here

From soups to quiches, however you choose to eat your asparagus, I hope you may enjoy some soon. 

All the best Jan

Monday, 30 May 2016

Peter Hitchens: Scientific Consensus Leaves People ‘Needlessly Fat And Dying Of Horrible Diseases’

Peter Hitchens explains the dangers of relying on scientific consensus on issues such as low fat diets in his Mail on Sunday column:

Whenever I see a ‘low-fat muffin’ in a coffee shop, I have to control an urge to pick it up, jump on it and shout rude words.

I am myself an expert in getting fat, and know that this evil blob of sugar and starch is a rapid route to a bigger waistband.

Fat doesn’t make you fat. Butter is good for you. So is cream. Skimmed milk is a futile punitive measure, not a foodstuff, a way of making ourselves needlessly miserable which has taken over the world on the basis of an illusion.

This is because almost everything most people think about food, and almost everything shops tell them, is completely wrong. In an unending struggle to get this across, the National Obesity Forum last week made a renewed attack on these mistaken attitudes.

Sugar, not fat, is the menace to our lives. And this has been known since 1972 when a brave scientist, John Yudkin, wrote a book – Pure, White And Deadly – showing it was so.

He and his unfashionable message were buried in abuse. It may be that some in the sugar industry might have been involved. These days he would have been called a ‘fat-threat denier’, or something of the kind. He died in 1995, too soon to see his ideas rescued and taken seriously again.

Even now, people are getting needlessly fat and dying of horrible diseases because the anti-fat (and pro-sugar) lobby still hasn’t been completely routed. It will be, but these things take time. I mention this not just because it’s true, but because it’s an example of how thoughtless worship of scientists gets us repeatedly into trouble.

Doubters like me are told not to dare criticise the sacred men in white coats.

But scientists disagree among themselves and are often wrong. In fact, science progresses by exploding dud theories of the past. And laymen are perfectly entitled to apply facts and logic to what these people say. The obvious argument against the skimmed-milk fanatics is that decades of this policy have left us with more fat people than ever. But we should not have had to wait so long.

There is powerful evidence against many other things now accepted as true, and often very weak evidence for them. I’d name ‘antidepressant’ pills, ‘dyslexia’, ‘ADHD’ and ‘man-made climate change’.

Those who criticise these things are angrily hushed, with righteous cries of ‘How dare you!’, and if they won’t shut up, they are punished – as was John Yudkin. Yet I believe in all these cases the critics will be proved right, as Professor Yudkin was. The miserable thing is that so much damage will be done while we wait for the truth to get the upper hand.

Be less trusting of all fashionable ideas, is my advice.

Gullibility and conformism never advanced civilisation by a single step.

Read the rest of Peter Hitchens’ column here.


Vegetable Frittata : Could Be Perfect For Family or Party Gatherings

Saimaa Miller writes, "the humble egg contains powerhouse nutrition. It is a fantastic source of protein (great for snacks when you’re on-the-go), vitamins B2, B12, A, D and E, minerals zinc and phosphorus, and trace elements iodine and selenium. They provide essential fatty acids to assist in hormone production, brain development and metabolic processes. Eggs are also one of the best sources of choline, an essential nutrient needed for metabolism, fat absorption and neurological function."

Here is her recipe for a vegetable frittata. Note of caution will see it uses sweet potato, which although has fewer carbohydrates than the regular potatoes, still has carbohydrate in them (see article below). Some diabetics find blood sugar numbers are acceptable when eating this, but others still have an un-acceptable blood sugar spike ... so if you are unsure, than test is best i.e. please use your meter.

You may of course substitute sweet potato for swede, bell peppers, additional zucchini (courgette) ... 

However, if you would like to give this recipe a try here it is ...

Olive oil
200g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces

120g green beans, trimmed, halved

½ cup frozen peas
1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini, (courgette) halved lengthways, sliced thinly

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 tbsp parsley
½ cup rice/almond/oat milk

4 eggs, lightly whisked

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line base of a 20cm round or square cake pan.
2. Heat oil in large frying pan and cook sweet potato, stirring for 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened.
3. Add onion, zucchini, beans and peas and cook for 3 minutes until just tender.
4. Combine vegetable mixture, tomato, parsley and eggs in large bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Stand 5 minutes before turning out.

You may need to use these measurement equivalent tables here

Sweet Potatoes

" The word 'potatoes' makes us shudder with the thought of weight gain and a truck load of fats, but that’s not the case with sweet potatoes. This humble root has numerous health benefits and can actually help you lose weight!

Sweet potatoes have a slightly lower carbohydrate content than regular potatoes. One medium potato contains 26 grams of carbohydrates, while one medium sweet potato contains 23 grams of carbohydrates.

Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving. The high fiber content gives them a ‘slow burning quality’. Which means their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate.

Vitamins and Potassium
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of potassium and vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothetic acid and folic acid. A medium sweet potato has 28% more potassium than a banana.

Water Content
The high amount of water that is found in sweet potatoes helps you lose weight. Like fiber, water takes up a lot of room in your stomach. Therefore, eating foods that contain high amounts of water makes you feel full and will prevent overeating and snacking between meals.

Choosing the right one
Check for sweet potatoes with no cracks or bruises. Keep them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, and handle them with care. They should keep for about two weeks. Once cooked, sweet potatoes can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

They can be used in a wide variety of dishes, both savory and sweet, and pair well with cinnamon, honey, lime, ginger, coconut and nutmeg. Enjoy them in desserts, breads and muffins, puddings and custards and casseroles. They also take to Indian curries and vegetable side dishes quite well."

These above words, and more, here

I often find that crustless quiches and frittata's are great for family get-togethers, Sunday breakfast or tea, bank holiday weekends and similar ...

We try and bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Statins leave fit pensioner barely able to walk

A FIT and active 65-year-old who walked “four miles a day before breakfast” and regularly went skiing has been left crippled after taking statins for two years

Andrew Reilly, 65, began to experience muscle pain a year after taking a regular dose of the controversial cholesterol-lowering drugs.

His condition worsened until he could barely walk.

The former specialist in electronic banking, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, said: “I was perfectly fine before taking the statins. If I missed a day walking, which was rare, I would be upset. I would walk up mountains and took up skiing seven years ago without any problems. Now I only walk a limited distance.”

He added: “I am apoplectic with anger. There is clear evidence that statins cause problems in some patients but the drugs industry and the NHS won’t admit it. It is my fervent hope that something will now be done to assist fit people turned into cripples.”

Last week the Sunday Express revealed that the Government is funding a £1million trial into the safety of the drugs.

The trial follows concern from doctors about side effects which include severe muscle pain, depression, fatigue, diabetes, impaired memory and stroke.

It also comes ahead of a series of planned medical meetings in northwest England where Dr Malcolm Kendrick, a heart health expert, will present data demonstrating almost half of patients discontinue statin drugs within months of taking them, in nearly all cases due to side effects including severe muscle pain.

He said: “The public are bombarded with the message that statins have almost no side effects. Why then do nearly 50 per cent of people stop taking them within a year?”

A spokesman for the Government’s drug regulator said: “The benefits of statins are well established.”


A Bit About Britain and a nice Roast Beef Dinner

I guess to most of us 'there's no place like home' and many may also say 'home is where the heart is'. Living in the UK, or Britain, as many refer to it, there are some wonderful places to visit.

You may have already read in earlier blog posts, one of our favourite places is the Lake District ... the scenery is just wonderful.

Another lovely place to visit is Mudeford, down in Dorset, again a lovely part of Britain. There is always something to see and do and the fresh fish stall on the quay has some great choices.

Now, many of you know I love blogging and have 'met' some great people out in 'blog-land'. One such person is Mike, he loves travelling around Britain, so much so that he has a blog about his travels. He says "A Bit About Britain is a personal project that aims to inspire, inform and entertain. If you’re looking for ideas for places to visit, you should find some inspiration in the growing Attraction Directory. If you like stories, hopefully you will like browsing the articles, or posts, on his blog. These are aimed at people who are just interested in the topic, or want enough information to provide a taster about a place, and put it in context, but who don't want to wade through a dry academic tome or detailed guide book - yet. Or perhaps you'd like to take a gentle stroll through Britain's regions... but, whatever you do, don't take it too seriously."

I wish Mike well on his endeavors - so far so good, it's quite a task he's taken on - why not go over and visit his blog ... but before you do may I interest you in a very traditional British Sunday Roast?

I don't think there is a better known British meal than Roast Beef. I think you could perhaps call it the national dish of Great Britain and loved by almost everyone. But is there a good or better way to cook the perfect roast beef. It is actually very easy as you can see with these handy tips here

Thanks for reading - and have a great Sunday

All the best Jan

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Jake Bugg - Love, Hope And Misery


Gemma Ray - Flood and a Fire

Kicking off music night with an artist that's new to me


Sardine Stuffed Avocado : Full of good Nutrients : LCHF and Paleo

Did you know sardines are rich in numerous nutrients see chart below 

Did you also know that avocados are a great source of B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C. 
Read more on avocados and sardines at this site here

So when I saw this lovely recipe idea which combined both sardines, avocados, and many other great ingredients, I thought it one to share. Doesn't it look delicious in that picture above! I have shown the ingredients here, so why not make a note of them for your shopping list!

Ingredients (1 serving):
1 large avocado, seed removed (200g / 7.1 oz)
1 tin sardines, drained (90g / 3.2 oz)
1 tbsp mayonnaise (15g / 0.5 oz)
1 medium spring onion or bunch chives (15g / 0.5 oz)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp turmeric powder or 1 tsp freshly ground turmeric root (preferred)
¼ tsp salt e.g pink Himalayan 

To see the step by step guide to make these delicious sardine stuffed avocado do use this link here, I'm sure you'll be glad you did. 

This lovely recipe idea is from Martina (pictured above). She lives in the UK, and has always been passionate about nutrition and healthy living. She started eating low-carb in 2011, shortly after she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Since then, she's been trying to figure out what works best for her and discovered some of the great benefits of low-carb eating. Following a low-carb, paleo-friendly diet plan helps her maintain a healthy weight while eating real food.

I hope you may sit down soon and enjoy this avocado recipe idea ...

All the best Jan

Friday, 27 May 2016

Triglycerides are a predictive factor for arterial stiffness



Epidemiological studies have disclosed an independent effect of triglycerides on coronary heart disease despite achievement of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals with statin therapy. Arterial stiffness has been increasingly recognized as a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerotic disease. The association between triglycerides and arterial stiffness is not well characterized. We aimed to determine the relationship between triglycerides and arterial stiffness in a community-based longitudinal sample from Beijing, China.


We related levels of plasma TGs to measures of arterial stiffness (carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity [PWV] and carotid–radial PWV) in 1447 subjects (mean age, 61.3 years) from a community-based population in Beijing, China.


After a median follow-up interval of 4.8 years, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that TGs were independently associated with carotid–femoral PWV (β = 0.747, P < 0.001) and carotid-radial PWV (β = 0.367, P = 0.001). In the group older than 65 years, the association between baseline TG levels and follow-up carotid–femoral PWV (β = 1.094, P = 0.001) and carotid-radial PWV (β = 0.524, P = 0.002) were strengthened. In forward stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, every SD increase in TGδ was associated with a 1.296-increased likelihood of the presence of carotid–femoral PWVδII (OR [per SD increase in TGδ]: 1.296; 95 % CI: 1.064 ~ 1.580; P = 0.010) in Model 2, whereas the relationship between TGδ and carotid-radial PWVδII disappeared. In addition, the relationship was strengthened between TGδ and the presence of carotid–femoral PWVδII (OR 1.526, 95 % CI: 1.088–2.141, P = 0.014) in the group older than 65 years but not carotid-radial PWVδII. No association was noted in subjects younger than 65 years.


Lower triglyceride levels were significantly associated with decreases in carotid–femoral PWV, indicating that achieving low TG levels may be an additional therapeutic consideration in subjects with atherosclerotic disease.

Full text:

Best way to lower trigs low carb of course


Asparagus, Broad Bean and Mint Quiche : Pastry Free

Bursting with fresh spring flavours, this is a pastry-free version of a classic quiche that you may like to try. You could perhaps enjoy it for lunch, or you may prefer to serve an early tea ...
Now, I wonder when you might serve it!

Serves Four
125 g asparagus tips, halved
300 g frozen British broad beans
5 medium (British) free-range eggs, beaten
75 ml crème fraîche
100 ml semi-skimmed milk
30 g Italian hard cheese, grated
100 g white Cheshire cheese, crumbled
14 g fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
0.5 tsp vegetable oil, for greasing
100 g (bag) Italian-style peppery salad
1 tbsp balsamic glaze

* optional - 270 g stone-baked ciabatta

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Put the asparagus and broad beans in a pan of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Pop the broad beans out of their skins (or you can leave them whole) then set the veg aside.
2. Put the eggs in a bowl and whisk in the crème fraîche and milk. Stir in the hard cheese and Cheshire cheese along with the asparagus, broad beans and mint.
3. Grease a 16cm x 26cm baking tin and line with baking parchment. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden and set.
* 4. Optional - about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, put the ciabatta on a tray in the oven to warm through. Slice and serve as appropriate.

5. Cut quiche into wedges and serve with the salad ... a drizzle of balsamic glaze over the top.

Cook's tip: make mini baked egg quiches for a picnic. Pour the mixture into a greased 12-hole muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes

* Living the LCHF lifestyle I would not choose to serve ciabatta with this quiche, because it will of course increase your daily carb intake, but as always, dear readers, the choice is yours.

We try and bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

Original recipe idea from here

Did you know broad beans (vicia faba) have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture, being among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow. Along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, they are believed to have become part of the eastern Mediterranean diet around 6000BC or earlier...

All the best Jan

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Dangers of ‘Polypharmacy,’ the Ever-Mounting Pile of Pills

Dr. Caleb Alexander knows how easily older people can fall into so-called polypharmacy. Perhaps a patient, like most seniors, sees several specialists who write or renew prescriptions.

“A cardiologist puts someone on good, evidence-based medications for his heart,” said Dr. Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness. “An endocrinologist does the same for his bones.”
And let’s say the patient, like many older adults, also uses an over-the-counter reflux drug and takes a daily aspirin or a zinc supplement and fish oil capsules.

“Pretty soon, you have an 82-year-old man who’s on 14 medications,” Dr. Alexander said, barely exaggerating.

Geriatricians and researchers have warned for years about the potential hazards of polypharmacy, usually defined as taking five or more drugs concurrently. Yet it continues to rise in all age groups, reaching disturbingly high levels among older adult

“It’s as perennial as the grass,” Dr. Alexander said. “The average senior is taking more medicines than ever before.”

Tracking prescription drug use from 1999 to 2012 through a large national survey, Harvard researchers reported in November that 39 percent of those over age 65now use five or more medications — a 70 percent increase in polypharmacy over 12 years.

Lots of factors probably contributed, including the introduction of Medicare Part D drug coverage in 2006 and treatment guidelines that (controversially) call for greater use of statins.

But older people don’t take just prescription drugs. An article published in JAMA Internal Medicine , using a longitudinal national survey of people 62 to 85, may have revealed the fuller picture.

More than a third were taking at least five prescription medications, and almost two-thirds were using dietary supplements, including herbs and vitamins. Nearly 40 percent took over-the-counter drugs.

Not all are imperiled by polypharmacy, of course. But some of those products, even those that sound natural and are available at health food stores, interact with others and can cause dangerous side effects.

How often does that happen? The researchers, analyzing the drugs and supplements taken, calculated that more than 8 percent of older adults in 2005 and 2006 were at risk for a major drug interaction. Five years later, the proportion exceeded 15 percent.

“We’re not paying attention to the interactions and safety of multiple medications,” said Dima Qato, the lead author of the JAMA Internal Medicine article (Dr. Alexander was a co-author) and a pharmacist and epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “This is a major public health problem.”

She was stunned to discover, for instance, that the use of omega-3 fish oil supplements had quadrupled over five years. Her research suggests that almost one in five older adults now takes them.

Users probably believe fish oil helps their hearts. But Dr. Qato pointed out fish oil capsules lacked regulation and evidence of effectiveness, and can cause bleeding in patients taking blood thinners like warfarin (brand name: Coumadin).

Though drug interactions can occur in any age group, older people are more vulnerable, said Dr. Michael A. Steinman, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco, who wrote an accompanying commentary.

Most have multiple chronic diseases, so they take more drugs, putting them at higher risk for threatening interactions.

The consequences can also be more threatening. Say a drug makes older patients dizzy.

“They’re more prone to fall, because they don’t have the same reserves of balance and strength” as the young or middle-aged, Dr. Steinman said. “And if they do fall because they’re dizzy, they’re more likely to get hurt.”

Some common combinations that cropped up in the study and could spell trouble: aspirin and the anti-clotting drug clopidogrel (Plavix), both blood thinners that together increase the risk of bleeding with long-term use; aspirin and naproxen(Aleve), over-the-counter drugs that when combined can cause bleeding, ulceration or perforation of the stomach lining.

Dr. Qato recalled reviewing the medications of a 67-year-old man taking both thecholesterol drug simvastatin (Zocor) and the blood pressure medicationamlodipine (Norvasc) — the most common combination of interacting drugs that emerged in her study.

Statins, along with their cholesterol-lowering properties, can cause muscle painand weakness; Norvasc heightens that risk. A different blood pressure drug — there are many alternatives — would be a safer choice, Dr. Qato said. Yet almost 4 percent of the older adults in her study took both drugs.

Moreover, though her patient wasn’t experiencing problems, he was also taking garlic and omega-3 supplements, which can interact with prescription medications.

“Did you tell your doctor you were on them?’” Dr. Qato recalled asking. “He said, ‘No, why should I? If it was important, why didn’t he ask me?’”

A reasonable question. A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine, however, found that more than 42 percent of adults didn’t tell their primary care doctors about their most commonly used complementary and alternative medicines, including a quarter of those who relied most on herbs and supplements.

Usually, that was because the physicians didn’t ask and the patients didn’t think they needed to know; in a few cases, doctors had previously discouraged alternative therapies, or patients thought they would.

And they might, especially for older patients with complex regimens. “I’m not a big fan of supplements,” Dr. Alexander tells patients taking lots of vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies.

“I think the vast majority of evidence raises serious questions about their effectiveness or, in some cases, their safety. They’re less well regulated than prescription medications. I think you’d be better off stopping them.”

Patients often resist, he said, and “they’re the captain of their own ship.” So he explains the risks and benefits, and negotiations ensue.

Often, though, patients don’t know that a daily aspirin, Prilosec OTC or fish oil can interact with other drugs. Or they’re confused about what they’re actually taking.

Dr. Steinman recalled asking a patient to bring in every pill he took for a so-called brown bag review. He learned that the man had accumulated four or five bottles of the same drug without realizing it, and was ingesting several times the recommended dose.

Ultimately, the best way to reduce polypharmacy is to overhaul our fragmented approach to health care. “The system is not geared to look at a person as a whole, to see how the patterns fit together,” Dr. Steinman said.

In the meantime, though, patients and families can ask their physicians for brown bag reviews, including every supplement, and discuss whether to continue or change their regimens. Pharmacists, often underused as information sources, can help coordinate medications, and some patients qualify for medication reviews through Medicare

“We spend an awful lot of money and effort trying to figure out when to start medications,” Dr. Alexander said, “and shockingly little on when to stop.”

If your a diabetic you don't need supplements to experience Polypharmacy 


Nutrition for your eyes.

The sugar you eat as a cause of heart disease and diabetes.

John Yudkin was a man decades ahead of his time. He was one of the first scientists to warn of the dangers of sugar and highly refined carbohydrates. He became internationally famous with his book Pure, White and Deadly (published in English in 1972, with new editions in 1986 and 2012). I first heard of Yudkin when reading a Gary Taubes book an extract below re. Yudkin.

“The George McGovern’s Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs 1973.

Peter Cleave testified to his belief that the problem extended to all refined carbohydrates. “I don’t hold the cholesterol view for a moment,” Cleave said, noting that mankind had been eating saturated fats for hundreds of thousands of years. “For a modern disease to be related to an old fashioned food is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard in my life,” Cleave said. “if anybody tells me that eating fat was the cause of coronary disease, I should look at them in amazement. But, when it comes to the dreadful sweet things that are served up … that is a very different proposition.” Yudkin blamed heart disease exclusively on sugar, and he was equally adamant that neither saturated fat nor cholesterol played a role. He explained how carbohydrates and specifically sugar in the diet could induce both diabetes and heart disease, through their effect on insulin secretion and the blood fats known as triglycerides. McGovern now struggled with the difficulty of getting some consensus on these matters.

“Are you saying that you don’t think a high fat intake produces the high cholesterol count?” McGovern asked Yudkin. “Or are you even saying that a person with high cholesterol count is not in great danger?”
“Well, I would like to exclude those rare people who have probably a genetic condition in which there is an extremely high cholesterol,” Yudkin responded. “If we are talking about the general population, I believe both those things that you say. I believe that decreasing the fat in the diet is not the best way of combating a high blood cholesterol …. I believe that the high blood cholesterol in itself has nothing whatever to do with heart disease.” “That is exactly opposite what my doctor told me,” said McGovern.

Extract taken from the brilliant book ‘The Diet Delusion’ by Gary Taubes page 123 a must read for anyone with an interest in weight loss and controlling diabetes.

The John Yudkin book Pure, White and Deadly is available to read for free here. If only action had been taken regarding Yudkin’s work, would we be facing the twin epidemics of obesity and it’s often linked type two diabetes?


Chocolate Mousse LCHF and Paleo

Regular followers of this blog will know we've already featured some lovely recipes by Swedish chef Birgitta Höglund. She features on Diet Doctor site and also has her own low carb/Paleo recipe blog.
Today we have not one, but two delicious ideas. The first one is just brilliant if you follow the LCHF lifestyle, and the second one is equally brilliant but is more suited to the Paleo style. I'm sure there are some readers who may in fact try them both ... as always, dear reader, the choice is yours ...

Chocolate Mousse LCHF 6-8 servings

1.8 oz (50 g) dark chocolate 70-90% cocoa
2 large egg yolks, from free-range eggs
6 3/4 fl. oz. (200 ml) heavy (double) cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (not vanilla sugar)
Sea salt

You can find the instructions on how to make this delicious LCHF mousse at Birgitta's blog here

Chocolate Mousse à la Paleo (4 servings)
3 1/3 fl. oz. (100 ml) coconut milk
2 tablespoons cashew nut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
a small pinch of sea salt
Cocoa nibs for garnish

To find the instructions on how to make this lovely Paleo mousse go over to Birgitta's blog here

For those of you who haven't met Birgitta ... here she is,
I must say I love the look of all the great fresh and low carb food on her table 

Now there are times when eating a chocolate mousse when some halved strawberries or raspberries go well, so why not add them to your shopping list, they are very LCHF friendly.

strawberries 6gm blackberries 5.1 gm raspberries 4.6gm of carbohydrate per 100gm weight.

Hope you may enjoy a chocolate mousse soon ...

All the best Jan

Keep it simple, because simple works.

I have often wondered why there has been so much opposition to low carbohydrate diets by so many organisations. From the ADA, the NHS, and our largest diabetes charity DUK. Many individual diabetics and healthcare professionals fight against low carb at every opportunity. The ADA and DUK are tentatively changing their stance and begrudgingly approving low carbing but only for a year. Why did it take them so long? Why not a use a low carb higher fat diet permanently? I think I know the answer, low carbing is too simple, and costs big pharma, junk food and so many vested interests big money.

Every now and again someone comes along with something so simple, we find it almost unbelievable. How many of us would have thought of the clock work radio, an idea so simple most of us would have thought it was an April fools joke. It is very simple and it works. Very often when we are given a very simple solution to a problem we do not accept it. All to often we think, no, it can't be right, if it was that easy it would have been discovered years ago. With me so far? a classic example.

Some time ago I watched a documentary about children with club feet. A very simple technique was invented by a Dr. Ignacio Ponseti in 1950, instead of using surgery, he developed a technique for treating babies with club feet in a very simple way. He realised that a babies feet are very flexible and he makes simple plaster casts and simply bends the foot into the correct shape and lets the cast set. The established medical world and many Surgeons did not want to know and regarded Ponseti as a dangerous maverick.

50 years on, it is successful 95% of the time, and universally accepted as the gold standard treatment. Since 2000 it has been used in main stream club foot treatment. Very cost effective and does not need the skill of a Surgeon to perform. Why did it take 50 years to become accepted, easy, it was far too simple. Oh, did I mentioned it is very cost effective, but costs many medical professionals big money in lost fees. Can't have that can we.

I know of another man like Ignacio Ponseti his name is Dr. Richard Bernstein. He too has battled the establishment for a very long time and his ideas are not accepted by all diabetes organisations and diabetics, why? you know the answer to that question already, too simple. And costs big pharma a fortune in lost medication sales.

We all know simple works, simple, healthy, fresh and fulfilling food. Minimal or no medication and some moderate exercise, it works and keeps on working. Every time we test our BG, every HbA1c test, proves it works, it really is so simple. The problem with simple is there is no money to be made. There is far less profit for food suppliers and supermarkets selling fresh meat and vegetables. The big profits are in sweets, confectionery, ready meals, baked products and other factory made junk. With low carbing, medication is almost always reduced, very often drastically and many type 2 diabetics require no medication at all. 

Spread the word, keep it simple, because simple works.


Link to the great Ignacio Ponseti here.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

NHS urged to offer up to 50,000 weight loss ops a year to help fight diabetes UK's epidemic

Specialists from around the world want the NHS to provide gastric band, sleeve or bypass operations to the millions of Brits affected by Type 2 diabetes

Weight loss surgery should be used to help fight the nation’s Type 2 diabetesepidemic, experts said yesterday.

They want the NHS to carry out up to 50,000 gastric band, sleeve or bypass operations each year to help the three million British patients affected by the disease.

Bariatric surgery is currently only used to treat obesity – but it should be offered even to those who are not morbidly obese as a standard treatment for Type 2 diabetes, specialists from around the world told respected journal Diabetes Care.

They hailed it as the biggest development in diabetes treatment since insulin was introduced a century ago.

Prof Francesco Rubino of King’s College London, one of those calling for the move, said it would only be offered after patients had tried diet and lifestyle changes as well as other therapies including insulin and sugar-controlling medication.

But he said: “It’s a very powerful treatment.”

The recommendation is based on trials showing that in most cases the surgery leads to an improvement in blood glucose levels.

About half of patients go into remission from diabetes for at least five years after weight loss surgery, trials found.

They also have far better blood sugar control than those who try to lose weight as a means of controlling their diabetes, Prof Rubino said.

The NHS spends £10billion a year managing diabetes, 80% of on complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke.

Diabetes UK called for yesterday’s recommendation to be incorporated into existing NICE guidelines for treating Type 2 diabetes so that everyone who fits the surgery criteria is assessed for treatment.

Simon O’Neill, of Diabetes UK, said: “There is a wide body of evidence that shows surgery is an effective treatment option for Type 2 diabetes and can be cost effective for the NHS.”

See also: Side Effects, Hospitalizations Common After Gastric Bypass

The high rate of side effects and hospitalizations after gastric bypass surgery should make development of new weight loss procedures a high priority, say researchers from Denmark.

People who had gastric bypass generally said their wellbeing improved after surgery, but about 90 percent reported at least one side effect and one-third were hospitalized, the authors report in JAMA Surgery.


British Dietetic Association and Diabetes UK issue new Eatwell Guide.

After years of promoting a lamentable high carb low fat diet to diabetics, the British Dietetic Association and Diabetes UK issue a new Eatwell Guide. An unnamed DUK source stated "The gigs up, we've been outed, the days of easy big pharma money are over" BDA spokesperson Candy Galore clearly distressed, and sobbing uncontrollably croaked "we can say goodbye to our free supply of Belvita biscuits now, why did we have to change the wonderful Eatwell guide" DUK press officer Lard Goody went on to say "this had to happen sometime, and with all the success diabetics are having with low carb higher fat diets, it's a wonder we got away with the low fat high carb scam for so long"

So, the big pharma junk food Ponzi scheme is coming to an end. Looks like countless millions of diabetics face a much healthier future, the future is bright, the future is meat and four portions of low starch veg. Looks like Dr.Richard Bernstein has been right all along.

The Sun

Check out our introduction to low-carb for beginners and control your diabetes safely on nil/minimum medication. 

Now that was fun!

A day out is always enjoyable isn't it, especially if you are fortunate to have a nice sunny day. You can stop looking at your watch, ignore the phone, forget the computer and just relax! Every now and again we take time out to visit and enjoy our favourite places, but we especially enjoy time spent visiting family and seeing our five grandchildren, it's always fun.

Just recently we were visiting these two, pictured here in our 'little red sports car'. We were fortunate to have some lovely sunshine ... and well the roof just had to come down. So with safety and child booster seat fitted, seat belts on, they both enjoyed their ride ...

Later in the day it was time to enjoy a nice meal together. 
These two like their vegetables like peas, carrots and broccoli,
they also like chicken ... so you can probably guess what we had!
Some-days can just be such fun!

Broccoli is a great tasting low carb vegetable - read more about it here

All the best Jan

Eating Turmeric In Curry Could Stave Off Dementia, Study Suggests

"Eating a portion of curry once a week may reduce your risk of developing dementia, new research suggests.

The study, conducted by scientists at Edith Cowan University in Australia, looked at the impact the chemical curcumin has on the brain.

Curcumin is found in the popular spice turmeric, that is used in many Indian curry dishes.

The researchers found curcumin has the potential to improve memory function for adults by blocking proteins that destroy neurones in the brain.

During the study, a group of 96 participants aged between 40 and 90 were split into two groups.

The first group were given a daily placebo pill while the second were prescribed a pill containing 1,500mg of curcumin.

Just six months into the 12-month study, the participants receiving the placebo pill displayed evidence of cognitive decline when completing verbal and memory tests.

In contrast, the group who’d been taking the curcumin-based supplement did not appear to show any change in brain function.

Commenting on the study, Laura Phipps, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said more research is needed before we can accurately say the chemical may help in fighting dementia.

“While there has been some early-stage research into the effects of curcumin on brain health, there is currently no conclusive evidence it could prevent or treat dementia in people,” she told The Telegraph.
“Some studies have produced limited evidence that very high doses of curcumin – much higher than might be normally found in foods like curry – could have some impact on memory and thinking skills, but large-scale clinical trials will be required before researchers can fully assess any potential benefits.”

She added that the best current evidence suggests that not smoking, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check can all help maintain a healthy brain."

The above article by Rachel Moss

With Alzheimer's affecting so many families, is this food for thought, I wonder? 

If you are looking for a nice low carb curry recipe, using turmeric, why not try this one 
Prawn, coconut and aubergine/eggplant curry

Serves Four
(9.2g carbs per serving)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 red or green chilli, deseeded (if you like) and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 aubergine (eggplant), grated or cut into fine julienne
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
300ml vegetable stock
250ml coconut milk
200g raw tiger prawns, peeled
A large handful of baby spinach

You can find the cooking instructions using this link here
Perhaps you may enjoy this dish soon

We try and bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The hidden trials that the low fat lobby still refuses to recognize

For several years now academics and researchers who follow or research the low carb diet have been amazed and frustrated by the almost complete refusal of the low fat dietary establishment to acknowledge any studies showing their approach has serious flaws and is regularly found to be less effective than low carbs. (Previous posts on HiUK have set out the low carb case in some detail.)

It was this frustration that prompted the report put out yesterday by the National Obesity Forum summarizing the multiple criticisms and calling for an evidence based approach to public health. The predictable response has been to assert that the low fat advice is firmly evidence based. One expert said that the advice contained in the official Eatwell plate was based on ‘robust scientific approaches’ another warned that National Obesity Forum’s advice to eat more fat ‘could have adverse public health consequences’. There seems to be no inclination to have any kind of re-assessment.

This is why research by the medical journalist Jane Feinman, published here for the first time, is so important. She has found that around 50 high quality studies reporting strong evidence for the benefit of a low carb diet were absent from the list of trials considered by nutritional scientific committees in both the USA and the UK.

The only reason the low fat supporters can claim their advice is firmly evidence based is that the high fat alternative has never been properly looked a. So it could be that the majority of those repeating the evidence based claim for low fat, simply don’t know their subject.

Assuming it is confirmed that these trials are indeed missing – not something that is difficult to do – it would seem inconceivable that some reassessment won’t have to take place. On the other hand I’m tempted to say: Don’t hold your breath!

How appallingly the American nutrition establishment treated an expert whistleblower

By Jane Feinmann

In September 2015, the BMJ (British Medical Journal) published a paper by an American science journalist on an issue that has turned nutrition from a clinical backwater into what is probably the biggest medico-political controversy of the 21st century – a growing concern that official dietary guidelines to eat a low fat high carbohydrate diet have been influenced by the food industry and may be fueling an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The paper, ‘The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific? challenged the most authoritative source of this advice world-wide – the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), Written by Nina Teicholz, author of the 2014 bestseller, Big Fat Surprise (Scribe), the paper was a detailed analysis of the DGA’s latest 2015 update. It concluded that far from being firmly evidence based, the guidelines ‘fail to reflect much of therelevant scientific literature in its review of topics’.

‘In fact,’ she says, ‘there have been several large clinical trials, showing the benefits of saturated fats. These have been funded by public bodies such as the NIH (National Institutes of Health), conducted on tens of thousands of men and women in experiments and lasting up to 12 years. If you include this missing research, the overall conclusion would have to be that carbohydrate restriction may very well be the best hope in helping people combat the worsening metabolic state that leads to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.’

Crucial files missing from a government library

So how has the DGA got it so wrong? The problem, says Teicholz, is that the DGA relies for its evidence on the Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL), a little known but powerful institution, set up by the US Department of Agriculture in 1980 to provide all the nutrition evidence to support the DGA – yet which, for some unaccountable reason, is unable to carry a comprehensive collection of the relevant nutritional studies.

‘The DGA Committee’s 2015 update claimed that it couldn’t find any studies supporting the benefits of a low carb diet. The most likely reason is that there were none in the NEL,’ she says.

For Teicholz, the months since publication of the BMJ paper have been fraught. Two months after it appeared, the BMJ received a demand for its retraction – claiming the paper was a ‘distorted and error-laden campaign against the DGA’. It was signed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a ‘consumer advocacy group’ based in Washington, and co-signed by 173 assorted clinicians from around the world.

A demand for retraction of a paper appearing in an academic journal is rare – and normally associated with serious scientific misconduct. So what were these multiple errors? So far the BMJ has acknowledged a single,relatively minor error. It has also initiated an outside review, a standard response to a demand for retraction, which so far has not come to a decision. ‘The CSPI demand doesn’t so much feel like an attempt to clarify and correct, more a move to silence debate about these issues,’ says Teicholz.

How nutritionists deal with an informed critic – denigration

Rather than making any effort to address her serious and carefully researched claims, the low fat establishment continued their attempts to sideline and denigrate her. Teicholz is an acknowledged dietary expert, yet in March of this year her invitation to speak at the National Food Policy Conference, a prestigious Washington DC food policy panel, was unceremoniously withdrawn. She was replaced by the President of the Alliance for Potato Research & Education. Someone who was unlikely to criticize the DGA.

Then In April, an article in the Guardian quoted nutritionist and Huffington Post columnist, Dr David Katz describing Teicholz as ‘shockingly unprofessional’ and – bizarrely – ‘an animal unlike anything I’ve ever seen before’. Those advocating low fat repeatedly claim their position is based on scientific evidence yet in response to a serious and detailed critique, evidence is abandoned and replaced with personal invective.

In February 2016, she had been invited to attend and offer testimony at a ‘listening session’ organised by the US Department of Agriculture, held to prepare for the forthcoming first-ever outside review of the DGA. It is to be done by the National Academy of Medicine, an independent, highly regarded scientific body set up US Congress.

Commercial interests helping to set policy

She was, she says, horrified by the sheer number of commercial organizations present and united in calling for a high carb low fat (HCLF) plant-based diet. They included the American Bakers’ Association, American Frozen Food Institute, Corn Refiners Association, Snack Food Association and the Plant-based Food Association, along with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which had called for the retraction of her BMJ paper.

As Teicholz points out: nutrition, a science, is ‘plagued with vested interests and subject to the stranglehold of epidemiology’. So will yesterday’s report by the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration,‘Eat Fat, Cut the Carbs and Avoid Snacking to Reverse Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes’, trigger a similar attack by vested interested in the UK?

Certainly the situation on this side of the Atlantic is remarkably similar. In March 2016 an updated version of the Eatwell guide was published – with an almost identical message to last year’s DGA – of continuing with a low fat high carb diet. It too has been admirably deconstructed by a leading nutritionist – Dr Zoe Harcombe -who also identified its sponsors.

What’s more, as I have discovered, the evidence base of trials which supposedly supports the Eatwell claims is also missing virtually all the high quality trials that support the low carb high fat position. Talk about cherry picking! The evidence it relies on is contained in in a report – Carbohydrates and Health - put out last year by a Department of Health body called the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition SACN. 

Official UK advice goes easy on sugar

At first sight it looks impressive with 65 pages of references. Yet among them is a large number of papers that strongly suggest commercial interests at work. There is no debate about whether sugar and carbs are good for the health, just a clarification about how much is too much. Sure it recommends halving sugar in diet – with five (five!) sugar cubes a day for children aged four to six and seven for those aged 11 and over.

But it insists that the current recommendation that carbohydrates should form 50 per cent of daily calorie intake should be maintained. ‘The total carbohydrate intakes at the current recommended levels show no association with the incidence of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes or glycaemia’.

Committee fails to find trials that contradict its conclusions

SACN’s conclusion was that there was no need to change the advice on carbohydrate intake and there was a comment to the effect the committee had been unable to find good evidence for the benefit of reducing carbs.

Yet it took me little more than an hour to locate more than 50 authoritative well planned studies that found in favour of a low carb diet which had been published in leading journals and carried out with funding from Government or leading organizations. None of the following are to be found in the main body of the SACN report.

Take for instance the major study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 which is claimed by Dr Michael Mosley as ‘finally putting a huge nail in the low-fat coffin’ involved 7400 people, many diabetes, allocated randomly to a low fat or a high fat diet. The study was halted because after four years those on the high fat low carb diet were found to be 30 per cent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke and both men and women were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

I think the whole list bears publication. Meanwhile here are a handful of papers that absolutely should have been included but were not..

Some missing trials showing benefits of low carb impact on heart disease and stroke

In 2014, a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Bazzano LA et al reported the results of a randomised controlled trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health following 148 men and women eating either a low carb or a low fat diet – with the finding that the low carb diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction.

A similar finding was reported in a 2012 meta-analysis of 17 RCTs involving 1,141 patients, published in Obesity Review and a 2014 review of 72 major studies by Chowdhury R, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This study found that ’current evidence does not support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats’. 

Some missing trials showing benefit for type 2 diabetes and obesity

A major study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 was said by Dr Michael Mosley to ‘finally put a huge nail in the low-fat coffin.’ It involved 7400 people, many diabetes, allocated randomly to a low fat or a high fat diet. The study was halted because after four years those on the high fat low carb diet were found to be 30 per cent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke and both men and women were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

In 2013, a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, carried out at Peninsula College of Medicine UK, found that a low carb diet improves various markers of cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes.

A 2009 paper, published in the same journal, and funded by the National Heart Foundation of Australia is one of several reporting that a low carb diet offers ‘clinical benefits to obese people with insulin resistance’. And in 2015, Feinman RD provided evidence in the journal, Nutrition, supporting ‘the use of low carbohydrate diets as the first approach to treating type 2 diabetes’.

These examples are not taken from a body of minor research that can be safely ignored. This is authoritative well-conducted science – and it explains why an organisation like the National Obesity Forum has stepped into the political arena in the way it has. Now is the time to establish nutrition policy for the benefit of the Forum’s members and the general population.