It may be a delicious, steaming plate of spaghetti, or toast in the morning. Perhaps it’s a jacket potato for lunch, a couple of biscuits, or a banana and one glass of milk before bed. Each is dietary staples appreciated by an incredible number of Britons. But could you give them all up if it might ‘cure’ your type 2 diabetes, or prevent it from taking place it the first place?
The answer might well be yes. Or at least, ‘I’ll give it a try. ’ Plus some experts now advise just this, within a so-called low-carb diet. It could be a delicious, steaming bowl of spaghetti, or toast each day. Perhaps it’s a jacket potato for lunch, several biscuits, or a banana and one glass of milk before bed.
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In April, it was announced that one such diet plan, The Low Carb Program, had received acceptance to be recommended by NHS GPs to people who have type 2 diabetes and also people that have pre-diabetes. Half a typical food would be vegetables, while sugars (favouring wholegrains, rather than ‘white’ carbs) and protein would each make up a quarter. Share But the Program also provides advice to those who should cut carbs significantly – sometimes dubbed the ketogenic, each day or keto diet strategy – to less than 30g.
That’s significantly less than two medium slices of Hovis wholemeal loaf of bread. Low-carb diets like the Atkins, Dukan and South Beach Diet have been popular long. It really is restrictive, undoubtedly. Some might say the reduced end of the level is extreme. But are such measures necessary completely? Not so, based on the experts who have devoted decades to researching blood sugar and its own effect on your body.
In truth, you can beat diabetes – or stop it before it hits – with simply a few tweaks. At the moment, the only proven way to get diabetes under control is to reduce weight and lose fat. And so long as you adhere to a low-calorie diet, it doesn’t matter – within reason – if those calories result from carbs. This message underpins the exclusive recipes in today’s Mail on Sunday. They are designed to help you lose weight and improve your health – which does mean eating less.
But it generally does not involve eliminating pasta, bread, rice or potatoes, and you may have a pudding even. If you could do with losing several pounds, then you aren’t alone. A third of British adults are overweight – and a further 25 per cent of the population is obese, which really is a medical term for very overweight. Public Health England says that the common adult uses up to 300 more calorie consumption a day than is recommended – which is 2,500 each day for men, and 2,000 for girls.
Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes are mostly linked to putting on weight. But, among the UK’s foremost research workers into diet explains, it’s not what you eat, it’s just eating an excessive amount of anything that enables you to gain weight. Professor Michael Lean, chair of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow, says: ‘The scientific evidence is intensive, consistent and incredibly clear. The reason for type 2 diabetes, in vulnerable people, is weight gain and specifically waist-size increase – which shows fat build up in the vital organs, and especially extra fat in the liver.
‘The specific diet has little impact. The exact way diet reverses type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes is just as simple, he adds. ‘It happens if there is weight loss of 10kg to 15kg – or 1st 8 lb to 2st 5 lb – whatever the starting point. It’s the age old equation – consume fewer calories from fat than you burn off.
‘The diet structure does not matter so long as there is certainly weight reduction,’ Prof Lean says. The idea that very-low-carb diets are best for those with type 2 diabetes – or those at risk of the problem – comes from the idea that carbs raise the amount of insulin produced by the body.