The idiotic dietary advice we give to diabetes patients !

It is true that in people who do not have diabetes, eating a high-carbohydrate diet probably does little harm – although there are some who believe that a switch from fat to carbohydrate in the diet has driven the current surge in obesity levels.

But in type 2 diabetes, a high-carbohydrate diet puts increased stress on the ß cells and will worsen insulin resistance. In fact, the only pathway the body has for getting rid of excess glucose – when liver and muscle stores are full – is to convert glucose into fat in the liver, then export this fat via VLDL/triglycerides to adipose tissue.

And this is a process driven by high insulin levels. In short, if you have type 2 diabetes and you eat a high-carbohydrate diet, you will push up blood glucose levels and blood insulin levels. You will also create hypertriglyceridaemia and, due to protein transfer from HDL to VLDL, a low HDL level. Which is the exact metabolic state now known to be associated with CHD – metabolic syndrome, or syndrome X.

You will probably also create non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as the liver fills with fat generated from glucose. If, on the other hand, you eat fat, this cannot have any impact on blood glucose levels. While glucose can be converted to fat, fat cannot be converted back to glucose.

A high- fat diet also has no impact on raising insulin levels, as absorption of fat into adipose tissue requires only a low background insulin level. A high-fat diet will not raise VLDL levels or lower HDL levels either. In short, a high-fat diet is theoretically perfect for people with type 2 diabetes. But a high-fat diet raises LDL levels, doesn’t it? We are repeatedly told this, but it doesn’t happen to be true.

Here, for example, is a quote from Dr William Castelli, director of the Framingham study, one of the longest-running and most widely quoted studies in the world. ‘In Framingham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower people’s serum cholesterol’ – by which he means LDL2.

From a Pulse article by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick


This entry was posted in Blood glucose, Diet, Diet and dieting, Fats, Foods to avoid, Low carb diet, Low carb science, Saturated fats, Type two diabetes. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The idiotic dietary advice we give to diabetes patients !

  1. laila says:

    Just stumbled upon this blog – made my day or perhaps even my month! I am a diabetes specialist nurse & live with diabetes myself. As I persistently bring up the issue of current UK dietetic advice given to insulin-resistant, often overweight people, you can guess the onslaught I receive from our NHS dietitians….. Last week was a particularly depressing one – two dietitians declined to facilitate a training course for primary care health professionals with me as I suggested we need to be bold enough to put our heads above the parapet and honestly question the current DUK, BHF, and the UK dietitians (BDA) EatWell plate. All hell broke loose – and the outcome was: when you aim at nothing, you probably achieve it! On the same day I found the advert/programme for the BDALive & online Friday 11th October 2013 ‘Balance your plate’ (sponsored by BelVita and Danio food companies!). One session is entitled: ‘EatWell Plate’: Is it in need of changing?’ Please keep your eyes open – there might be changes ahead…..

  2. Eddie says:

    Thanks for your comment Laila. The lowcarb lifestyle is gaining momentum, advising type two diabetics to base meals on starchy carbs and avoid fats is ludicrous. We call the standard dietary information for diabetics from the NHS, DUK and BDA, the diet of slow death. More from Dr. Kendrick.

    “The reality is that over the years, and around the world we have killed literally millions of diabetics by advising them to eat a high-carb diet and avoid fats. Only now is it being recognised that previous advice was and remains useless, dangerous and scientifically illiterate” 


    • Susi says:

      I am 66 and have been living with Syndrome X for 15 years and have recently started to exhibit all the symptoms of Diabetes 2… I was following the dietary guidelines laid down in the UK and was despairing of ever being able to stave off taking medication – until I googled you.. 🙂 After following the very low carb diet I am now averaging a reading of 90 – which I imagine is about 5.5… I live in the Middle East and have a different Accu-Chek machine so am not sure of the conversions, but I know I am keeping all my balls in the air at the moment…. the longer I stay off medication the better… I am using a treadmill every day and walking/running at least 2 kilometres and I feel great… no more dropping off to sleep at the drop of a hat, so tired I could not manage…no more running to the bathroom every five minutes…no more wanting to snack… the familiar list goes on…

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