SUBMISSION TO: Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP, Government of New South Wales
FROM: Dr Verner Wheelock
I am extremely concerned about the expulsion of Jennifer Elliott from the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) because of her recommendation to lower carbohydrate diets to people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Furthermore I find it incomprehensible that the Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSW Health) has issued the following instruction that:
“Nutritional advice to clients must not include a low carbohydrate diet. Jennifer will be advised on the information that she may provide to clients…. ”
The impact of this is that people who have effectively cured their T2D by lowering their blood glucose, losing weight and stopped all medication will be told to increase their carbohydrate intake, which caused the T2D in the first place.
There is absolutely no doubt that reducing carbohydrate consumption (coupled with an increased intake of healthy fats….low carb/high fat (LCHF)) is extremely successful in the treatment of T2D in very many people.
There is convincing research which has been collated in an excellent paper prepared by many of the leading practitioners in the field (1). This explains in detail how and why restriction of carbohydrates is an extremely effective treatment for T2D. Patients find it easy to do, weight loss is not essential and there are no adverse side effects.
Even more impressive is the enormous number of individuals who have successfully cured T2D by adopting this strategy. I am well aware that some who claim to be “scientists” discount these on the grounds that they are “anecdotal”. If it was limited to a few then this might be a reasonable point of view but when there are so many, this type of criticism simply lacks credibility. When so many find the official advice does not work while the LCHF approach is successful, then this has to be of major significance. Is it is reasonable and logical to condemn all these people as liars and charlatans?
As a person who has been in business for 25 years it is essential to be able to make judgments based on the totality of evidence which is available. It is completely unrealistic to wait until the academics in business management have come to a conclusion. Is this specific issue any different?
Recently the BMJ published a report from 2 GPs describing how one of their patients with T2D had improved his health significantly by changing his diet and lifestyle (2). He has come off sugar altogether and cut out bread (he previously consumed a lot of this), potatoes, pasta, cereals, and rice. This has led to greater consumption of green vegetables, but also eggs, full fat Greek yoghurt, and cheese. This is in direct contradiction of the instructions issued by SNSW Health. The result was that he lost 16kg in body weight. HbA1c fell from 52 to 43 mmol/mol (6.9% to 6.2%) and blood pressure from 130/80 mm Hg to 117/70 mm Hg. As a consequence he stopped all medication. What was even more remarkable was the response to the article from almost 40 people (3). Many of these were from diabetics, including those with T1D. Here are some extracts from these responses:
- “I see patients who have type-1 or -2 diabetes among others at my private practice. Some of them have come to the same conclusion as the patient of the article by reading themselves about low carb, or their doctor had recommended it. Those patients usually have lost weight and many do fine with none or less medication. As high blood sugar is a cause of retinopathy, the better HbA1c reflects to their eye health too.” (Ophthalmologist in Finland)
- “I am an elite outrigger canoe paddler and Type 1 of 19 years. I have been quite successful over the years with multiple World Titles and WR’s. During my years training and racing there was always the worry of hypos and not only effecting performance but also endangering life. I had tiredness and hunger constantly…….Starting in October 2014 in between major comps I started my LCHF lifestyle and have had the best months of my diabetic life. No hunger, great energy, good recovery, level BGL, and performance is fantastic.” (Athlete from Brisbane)
- “I’m a 49 year old type 1…I cannot understand the current recommendations in my country by the ADA on giving 30-60 carbs per meal. It’s a proven, scientific fact that carbs raise glucose….and high glucose causes an entire slew of complications such as blindness, loss of limbs to neuropathy and kidney failure…so why recommend eating so many carbs?? I eat 30 grams or less of carbohydrate per day and all those are from non-starchy veggies. I am well nourished, never hungry and my last 5 A1C’s have been in the 4’s. ..with the last one 4.8..”( Hair replacement specialist USA)
- “As an obesity medicine physician who uses low carb high fats diets in all of my patients I cheer the publication of this article. Nowhere in medical school or after is the concept of taking someone OFF medications discussed. Why should we? Patients are supposed to just get sicker, right? This attitude is not only pervasive but more important WRONG. They get sicker only when they are taught to eat a diet that makes them sicker. Unfortunately, this is the low fat diet pushed by all so called “patient advocacy groups” such as the American Diabetes Association. When taught to eat a whole foods low carb high fat diet patients do get better and “deprescribing” is a daily occurrence in our clinic.” (Physician, USA)
- “I was diagnosed T2 in 2000 with an HbA1c of about 11. The presenting symptoms were peripheral neuropathy & extreme tiredness. I was advised that T2 was progressive & however well I complied with the NHS/Diabetes UK diet – complex carbs, low fat, sugar & salt – my condition would worsen, progressing to increased medication, insulin, amputation, blindness … & the Dr helpfully computed my probability of a heart attack at 25%. WOW! I went out in a state of shock. For 7 1/2 years I carefully followed the recommendations until in 2008 my neuropathy condition was crippling. It was painful to get out of bed. Driving was becoming dangerous. HbA1c was about 7 so the Dr considered hospital referral, rather than a diabetes control problem. I had other diabetes related symptoms…..
- In May 2008 I cut out all the obvious carbs, increasing veg & fatty foods. My diabetes control & health rapidly improved. In 3 months I was out of pain & able to play tennis again. I have been taking 3×500 mg metformin, & continue to do so. Seven years on, at age 76, I am fit & well, playing tennis at club standard & with no diabetes symptoms or health complications. My HbA1c range is between 6 & 6.6. “(Retired scientific consultant, England).
On 16th September 2015 when the American Diabetes Association (ADA) asked on Facebook
“What was your most recent blood glucose reading?”
it was overwhelmed with over 800 responses, almost all of which were highly critical (4). Here is a selection:
- I was dx’d two years ago, was force feeding myself to reach the daily carb requirements, I was taking boatloads of insulin, going low then high and very down emotionally because of it. Then I found the better way. I used to walk around with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, now I have a skip in my step…low carb and typeonegrit have been a game changer for me!
- Been using whole food diets void of sugars, grains, processing and industrial veggie oils for fifteen years with my patients. Reversing diabetes while reducing CV risk. Lots of good evidence to support this approach. http://denversdietdoctor.com/medical-weight-loss/
- Time to see the handwriting on the wall, ADA. Love all the comments below showing that the best way to get optimum blood glucose control isn’t with the ADA recommendations but with a low carb high fat moderate protein diet. That’s what diabetics should be eating, American Diabetes Association!
- Been off insulin for 2 1/2 years now do to low carb diet. No more highs or lows! My blood sugar is PERFECT! Lost 130 pound (but stopped insulin only 2 weeks in cause I normalized that fast!) No more fatty liver, cholesterol is perfect! And the weight continues to come off! Why is American Diabetes Association still recommend such high carb levels! Following those recommendations almost killed me! It’s already acknowledged low carb is best…but still changes nothing. A little angry over this…
- Wow. Just reading through these threads and finding hundreds of people who have reversed Type 2 diabetes by NOT listening to the ADA. I just clicked on Diabetic Living magazine, and shortcake is on one cover and shells are on another cover! What? This is poison.
- The ADA diet is responsible for the deaths and maiming of many diabetics. If you want to live with diabetes and be healthy, low carb is the only way.
- I went from “Prediabetic” to Type 2 thanks to following ADA diet recommendations. I gained more weight on your diet than at any other time in my life. And I felt worse than ever. If I hadn’t decided to be “noncompliant” and reduce my carb load to 60gm/day I know I’d be even worse off. I now eat LCHF and my sugars run between 70-90s and no huge spikes anymore since I know WHAT to eat. I test 8-12 times a day in order to “keep an eye” on my sugars. And because of LCHF I’ve lost 26 lbs of the weight your stupid plan added! Why on earth would you tell DIABETICS to eat CARBS especially in the asinine levels you recommend? The ADA should be ashamed and either revamp or go away. I’m all for a class action suit. My fbs this morning? A healthy 74!
- The ADA is probably so sorry they asked the question and have no idea how to reply to all these wonderful people fighting against ADA and their shameful advice that is killing people
- I was following the ADA diet while being a “diabetic” for 30 yrs, now on wheat belly life style I have been insulin free with normal AlC’s for 10 months . My doc. Says GREAT!! Keep up doing what you are doing. All my labs are also normal range , I’m down to only 2 ordered drugs and I’m almost 80 yrs old . I feel really good. I follow dr. William Davis’s wheat belly life style and am now in love with him for showing me a new way to good health.
- They won’t listen. They will use their studies that are funded by pharma companies and the grain association to tell all of you normal people that have seen changes by eating low carb or grain free that you are wrong and it is all in your head.
- Interestingly, FACEBOOK is now blocking all my attempts to comment or “like” postings which show: Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s, Diabetes Solution, saying that “this message contains content that has been blocked by our security systems.”
- Really? Now even FB wants to interfere with the exchange of knowledge taking place here??
- My experience as a nurse for 41 years reinforces that many of the approaches that traditional healthcare has used for many years have NOT been effective for many persons. That spurred my own quest to find additional information and learn more about research — even am back n school (doctoral program ). And these days, Dr. Bernstein’s book, Diabetes Solutions, stays on the shelf in my desk hutch – within easy reach and reference!!
- And yes, I changed how our our family eats as I learned more from the research publications, and looked for these forums as well.
- 95. After years of taking statins, thiazides and beta-blockers, which some peer-reviewed research tells me might have been the cause, a year and a half ago my fasting glucose was no longer high-normal but suddenly 131. I went on a lowcarb/moderateprotein/highfat diet, and now my formerly awful lipid profile looks fine without statins, my fasting glucose is good, and I’ve dropped 40 pounds. One of my doctors is sure this will kill me no matter how good my bloodwork looks the same doctor who refuses to believe that excessive protein raises my blood glucose, but I have piles of data to prove it, and piles of friends with similar piles of data. Dr. Bernstein’s book is my bible. You can’t argue with facts, try as you may. And you will.
- The latest information from CSIRO are recommending 50grams of carb per day for DIABETICS. This information will be released to the public within the next few months. A 2 year study that has PROVEN results with 50grams or less of carb per day plus 3 strength sessions per week WILL LOWER your HBA1C. Switch over to low carb and enjoy a long life without complications.
I could go on and on. The evidence is overwhelming. It is absolutely appalling that literally millions of people all over the world are being given advice which is WRONG and making their health even worse. As a consequence they have to endure considerable suffering and their life span is reduced. As these case studies demonstrate most of this is unnecessary. We have all been let down by the professionals fuelled by a toxic combination of incompetence, corruption and hubris. There is no doubt that things are changing slowly because people are being empowered by the information which can be accessed via the internet. But the process could be accelerated if the politicians grasped the nettle and took effective action. You have an opportunity to make a real difference by taking initiatives to stop the nonsense currently being promulgated by official bodies which are responsible to you. Even more important is to promote the dietary principles which are so obviously successful all over the world. By doing this you would be helping to improve the health of the citizens of New South Wales and the financial savings would be absolutely huge. No doubt some of these will be members of your own family and friends. I can assure you that this action would be widely welcomed in many different countries. You would be recognised as the trailblazer with the imagination and determination to make the breakthrough that so many politicians have shirked because of their timidity and ineptness.
The reality is that if T2D is not controlled the incidence will continue to grow to a point where it will become so expensive and damaging to public health that it will not be sustainable.
There is no question that the policy changes will have to be implemented eventually. So why not sooner rather than later.
- R D Feinman et al (2015) http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/pdf
- D Unwin & S Tobin (2015) http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4023