The Low Carb Diabetic

 

THE POLITICS

With well over 200 million diabetics in the world the treatment costs run to billions of pounds per year. When numbers of this size are involved inevitably large commercial considerations influence opinion. The dietary information given to diabetics has been deeply flawed for a long time. For decades best advice has been based on the American so called food pyramid. This is basically a high carbohydrate low fat diet. It was believed by scientists and health professionals this diet would promote a healthy life style and reduce many of the increasing health problems such as heart attacks, stroke and obesity. During the time it has been adopted it has not worked. Heart disease and stroke cases have increased, obesity and its linked type 2 diabetes has increased to epidemic proportions. How could this situation have come about. Politics and commercial interests.

The book called The Politics of Food was written some twenty years ago and highlights the extremely cosy relationship between Members of Parliament and the food industry. It was  staggering to learn, that in 1987, when the sugar industry was coming under attack, no less than 64 M.P.s were involved in the promotion of the sugar industry and its high sugar using customers. Michael Shersby M. P. was not only the Chairman of the Conservative backbench committee on food and drink, he was also the Director-General of the Sugar Bureau.

It is also a fact many experts advising the government on food have to sign the official secrets act. When a scientist queried this and stated "I have to sign the official secrets act to advise on a sausage" he was informed it had to be done because companies wanted to protect their trade secrets. I expect an analytical chemist could tell you exactly what's in a Walls pork without too much trouble.

Over the last forty years or so many of the large trials and studies on food and diet have been sponsored by large food companies and their associated trade bodies and conglomerations. As you would expect, findings and results have been heavily biased towards commercial interests and considerations. Would a large international company spend huge sums of money so that the end result would be to rubbish their own products ?

Upon diagnosis, the NHS often issue a 24 page booklet called "Diabetes A Practical Guide For Patients" The booklet is supported by Takeda, the largest manufacturer of insulin in Japan. The diet information is the usual eat plenty of carbs with every meal recommendation. Lots of high carbohydrate food is the last thing we diabetics need. Would a manufacturer of insulin have an interest in recommending low carbohydrate diets. Clearly the more people low carb. the less insulin they require. Would an insulin manufacturer, sponsor a book that promoted a low carbohydrate diet for diabetics, and therefore lose sales and revenue ?

There is some light at the end of a long tunnel. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recently changed their stance dramatically. For years their daily recommended amount of carbohydrates for a diabetic was 300, it has been slashed to 135. Usually our NHS follows along behind the standards set in America by the ADA hopefully we will follow soon.

 

 

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