Before I start, and at the risk of preaching to the knowledgeable, here is a very, very brief primer on the subject of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease whereby the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin is destroyed. Without a regime of testing and injecting the hormone the condition is ultimately fatal.
Type 2 is largely a lifestyle condition whereby the pancreas is unable to supply the correct requirement of insulin or the cells of the body are resistant to it’s influence.
Diabetics are at a much, much higher risk of heart disease than those who do not suffer from the condition, here’s the NHS take:
The bottom line is that for people with diabetes the body is unable to process blood sugar - glucose - at all or properly. Glucose is very dangerous outside very closely controlled parameters. The glucose circulating in the average person without diabetes is around one teaspoon. Double that and you have diabetes, which is why the pancreas reacts very swiftly to get it out of the bloodstream and into safe fat storage.
Next link is to Andreas Eenfeldt. This is the second year he has attended this conference and posted his observations. In the interval nothing whatsoever has changed, and it looks like the prospect for future change is slight, (though I do remain optimistic given the increasing coverage of low carb high fat in the media):
Now we come to the current NHS guidelines dietary guidelines for diabetics:
Given that starches turn to glucose very swiftly (try putting a small piece of bread between cheek and gum, then roll it onto the tongue after five minutes or so) and sends blood sugar through the roof, one would be forgiven for wondering if this might be the very worst advice for people newly diagnosed and seeking guidance.
The book below was the standard to be followed if one had diabetes 40 odd years ago. Written in 1907 it predated the discovery of insulin by 16 years, when the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Banting et al, and was still being advocated till the ’70's
After the seminal McGovern report, the world became afraid of fat and replaced it with carbohydrate and Oppenheimer was consigned to the backwaters of medieval alchemy:
(Click to turn a page)
I share Eenfeldt’s frustration. One wonders how many have had their quality of life ruined unnecessarily and then add the deaths into the equation. And it’s even more worrying in that the vast majority of people with type 2 will be unaware of it or will poorly control it. Monitoring and covering roller coaster glucose spikes with medicines takes an extraordinary discipline, most will be unable to achieve such a level.
Finally, diabetics, whether type 1 or 2 adopting a low glucose lifestyle would at the very least be able to adjust their medication downwards, and I doubt that anyone would argue that that would be a bad thing.