Type 2 diabetes: Medics in row after report questions low-carb diets

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Type 2 diabetes: Medics in row after report questions low-carb diets 1

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has sparked anger by suggesting foods like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta make no real difference in the fight against weight loss. Public health experts currently recommend one third of daily diets diet should be made up of starchy foods. But in new draft guidance SACN, which advises the Government on nutrition, said there was no overall difference between low and high carbohydrate diets on body weight in the long-term. 

It also said low-carb diets might have benefits over high-carb diets on blood sugar in the short term, but their long-term effects remain unclear. 

The findings are at odds with the rationale behind many popular low-carb diets. 

These typically consist of 5oz or less of carbohydrate a day. Those who follow them eat fats, proteins through meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and some non-starchy vegetables.

NHS cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said: “It’s clear the Scientific Advisory Committee of Nutrition are not fit for purpose and cannot be trusted to give independent dietary advice. To recommend Type 2 diabetics should make up half their calories from starch is in effect poisoning them. This committee is putting the interests of the food industry ahead of public health which is a national scandal that needs to be exposed and challenged. The totality of evidence reveals a low carbohydrate diet is most effective for Type 2 diabetics.” 

Dr Adrienne Cullum, head of nutrition science at Public Health England, said: “SACN, with support from a range of partners, has undertaken a thorough review of the evidence on low-carb diets for adults with Type 2 diabetes. 

“SACN is consulting on the draft report to make sure it has considered all the relevant evidence and to invite comments on the draft conclusions.” 


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