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The Truth About Carbs

By Jane, Jun 7 2018 08:39AM

The Truth About Carbs
The Truth About Carbs

There have been a growing number of documentaries on TV lately about diet and health. Last night we had another entitled “The Truth About Carbs” on BBC1, presented by Dr Xand van Tulleken

The show presented a number of subjects related to carbohydrates including their effect on genetic inheritance and the way that different types of carbs are processed differently by the body. This was all very interesting but the central theme of the show and the one of greatest interest to me was the effect of carbohydrates on diet and health.

The program introduced Dr David Unwin and his dietary intervention trial that for the last 4 years has been helping diabetics at his practice in Southport reduce or remove their dependency on drugs. This work has saved the NHS huge amounts of money and save the patients from a life (and probably an early painful death) driven by this terrible disease.

In a small demonstration a group of patients were shown how to change their diet in simple ways and left to it (no fitness coaches pushing them to perform more burpees here!). In 2 weeks they all lost significant weight and they all reduced the key marker of diabetes (their HbA1c level). They all reported finding the diet easy to manage and looked forward to continuing with it.

Compare these results to the team in last week’s Crash Diet program where the group of patients were told to each just supplement shakes and cajoled along by a TV crew including the government’s advisor on obesity Dr Susan Jebb; all of them found the diet hard to stick to and had no idea whether they would be able to stick to the new low-fat diet that was introduced at the end of the show. Both approaches achieved the same short term results but only one of them looked to be an achievable long term lifestyle choice.

There will be criticisms of The Truth About Carbs, in particular they barely mentioned the word ‘fat’ in the show. This may have been a deliberate tactical decision by the show’s producers as it’s a contentious subject; but in order to embrace a low-carb lifestyle it is important to remove the fear of fat that so many of us have ingrained in our minds from childhood, and to learn about good fats and bad fats and how to choose and use them.

Now I admit that I am biased here; I have known Dr David Unwin for the last 3 years and he is a founder member of the PHC charity that I am a patron of; we are trying to get the government to change its advice on heathy eating. But it is the research and published results of David and his partners that has convinced me that this is the right direction for the treatment of obesity and diabetes (both types 1 and 2) in this country. Because it is results like his that matter; not what this scientist or that blogger says on twitter, but what happens to many thousands of real patients who are ill and want to get better.

Many doctors still regard diabetes as an un-treatable disease and prescribe medicine for life. But now there is a choice; Dr Unwin’s dietary program will be made available by the Royal College of General Practitioners to every GP in the country, as a choice to be offered to all diabetes patients.

Next time you see your doctor why not ask about it? It might just change your life.

Jul 24 2018 06:37PM by Jaki

Thanks Jane. Love the way you write and it all makes sense. We are trying to adopt new eating routines and model these to the kids too.

Jul 25 2018 08:23AM by mroweth

Thanks Jaki, that's really good to hear.

Have you come across this recipe book which is great for families?

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I'm Jane Roweth, owner of Aspire Fitness Solutions (I'm the one wearing red) and in this blog I'll be leaving day-to-day business behind and commenting on some of the wider issues in the health and fitness industry.


I've been around this industry for 20 years now and I have a lot of experience and opinions to share.


I'll also be sharing some of the stories that have been making Aspire such an inspiring place to work for the last 9 years.