The LCHF diet triumphs yet again in a UK study of 120000 people. LCHF (low carb high fat) is perhaps the diet that most closely aligns with the most recent, credible research on the causes of obesity and what to do about it with the diet.
The research is overwhelming, but the results are not yet quite mainstream. Thus, a spark of news reports this week in the UK.
The UK newspapers have stories out based on a large volunteer study. This is catch-up news for a lot of people, of course, but it is energizing the health and nutrition debate in Britain.
Here’s a synopsis from the Times, but other UK stories got in on this as well and are more accessible – see below.
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 diabetes.co.uk in a backlash against official advice.
The also story got picked up in the Daily Mail (Mail Online) Thousands of diabetics adopt high-protein low-carb diet in backlash against official NHS eating plan.
Their synopsis is excellent:
- 120,000 type 2 diabetes patients signed up to a low-carb diet plan
- More than 80,000 saw their blood glucose levels drop after 10 weeks
- One GP saves £45,000 a year by recommending low carb diet to diabetics
- Separate study found a crash diet is the best way to slash risk of disease
(Editorial note: We don’t know about that ‘crash diet’ bit – more to come on that. The general thrust of current research is that diet is long term even though results, obviously, are obtained in the short, medium and long term. The thing to remember is that the results must be long lasting, which is where most diets have failed in the last 40-50 years as the weight always came back in part or in full – sometimes more than what was lost even. But back to our story.)
The grass roots movement drove this change in diet – people asked for it and one organization took them up on it. Medical professionals are now pushing from behinds the scenes to make changes. They advice their patients to do the right thing whether NHS (Britain’s National Health Service) officially agrees or not.
Officially, they do not yet agree. The official dietary guidelines in the Britain go under the name Eat Well. Here’s how Eat Well compares to the basic LCHF (low carb high fat) diet advices.
It’s hard to make sense of the Eat Well guidelines in the light of recent research into what really causes obesity: undesirable fluctuations in the body’s hormones, primarily insulin with cortisol (caused by stress) also in the mix.
The Telegraph got on the train with this report: Low-carb diet helps control diabetes, new study suggests.
They included some videos with additional information including some recipes, which is helpful for people coming to this for the first time.
However, as we read through these stories, we are struck with how difficult is it for reporters to avoid inserting glib phrases that contradicts the evidence they are reporting on.
Take this sentence from the Telegraph commenting on a recent report from the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration linking carbohydrates to obesity and type 2 diabetes:
Controversially, the document argued that “eating fat does not make you fat”.
Why is this controversial? All current evidence supports this.
Then comes the kicker: UK officials from PHE (Public Health England) reject the findings and close rans around the Eat Well guidelines. Their message? “Continue as before”.
This with a diet that has been proven time and again to cause obesity, to cause precisely what it purports to avoid and prevent.
In most other contexts this would be considered negligence and result in legal action from those harmed by the negligent advice.
It boggles the mind, but once again people are smarter than the organizations attempting to control them. They have seen the light (pun intended) and flock to the age old solutions that are now coning back after a 40-50 year unfortunate side track: low carb high (or at least higher) fat diet composition with particular emphasis on eliminating added sugar in any form from the diet.
The food industry does not like this because this means the end of products relying on refined grains and sugars of any kind (and particularly anything with high fructose corn syrup).