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.

18 Replies

  • Not all bread is the same. I wouldn't be surprised by much that you find in low-price low-quality Chorleywood Baking Process loaves, but I suggest that high-oatbran wholegrain batch bread is a world apart. You can see this in Glycaemic Index tables, which while they're not the whole story, show wholegrain bread typically being below 50 while CBP white bread is 70 or higher. glycemicedge.com/glycemic-i...

    Shouldn't this be on a diabetic website rather than HEART UK? It doesn't seem that relevant to FH sufferers.

  • Diabetes and heart disease are both sides of the same coin.

    The relevance is that almost certainly some of the readers of this forum will have diabetes, and are therefore at a much higher risk of heart disease.

    This site is not the exclusive domain of those with FH, it is 'The Cholesterol Charity' and is therefore relevant to anyone with an interest in the subject of heart disease.

    The difference between whole meal and ordinary white bread is only a small one to a diabetic - both send blood sugar skywards and have to be dealt with by a broken metabolic system and or medication.

  • So FH sufferers have lost the FHA since its rename and need to go found ANOTHER charity to call our own, eh? :-(

  • As you probably know different foods will spike blood sugars differently for differently. For me "brown" doesn't spike me. Nor does porridge or oats BUT pasta with a Ragu sauce plays havoc. Its really not easy to say this or that will do this or that because it all depends on the individual.

    Good you see you back by the way.

  • Access to Heart UK is via HU. Is HU available to any health related issues or for only cholesterol ?

    Food we eat bring out sugar into our body, this sugar can cause a lot of medical problems including cholesterol and diabetics.

    Know your three numbers, BP cholesterol and blood glucose. to control this we need life style change, food intake control and exercise.

    My strong belief is that we can discuss all the three numbers related issues in here.

  • Perhaps the two forums should be merged. I do agree with others that there is an overlap of issues regarding cholesterol and diabetes.

    I have a hunch that my treatment for cholesterol with statins caused the onset of type 2 diabetes; there may be people posting in the other forum with similar experiences.

  • Ursa there are people US who are suing certain pharmaceutical companies over the very issue that you have bought up regarding statins and type 2 diabetes.Cant wait to see the outcome of that court case.

  • Oh sorry. I should've read the whole thread. Mea culpa.

  • Tracy I had a heart attack because I had extremely high cholesterol but also because I had diabetes an smoked and drank. So it is all related not separate from each other. When my heart attack came it was not becausevofvone thing only but then all. When I made my lifestyle change it was to everything all together and now I control my cholesterol with the same duet as I control my diabetes and with the same exercise regime. I don't separate them it is all part of the same "my body".

  • How can we differentiate between diabetes and high cholesterol when they are both part of metabolic syndrome.Surely the outcomes run along the same paths.

  • It is uncertain (to put it mildly) how much hypercholesterolaemia is due to the hypothetical metabolic syndrome. There are plenty of FH sufferers with no family history of diabetes who return very normal diabetic blood test profiles.

  • My first point would be that Diabetes is not just a lifestyle disease and is often inherited. In my case from my mother. All three sons have type 2 and all of us at about 45 years old. None of us were obese, being largely involved in active jobs and outside activities (youth organisations in my case). My GP at the time called me a Thin Diabetic. I have been insulin dependent since 1994

    Too often I hear people say "Oh don't you have to be fat to be diabetic"

    If you are diabetic then your cholesterol levels are of a great significance particularly from a cardiac point of view. I have had Triple bypass and it was cholesterol I was told that had blocked some four parts of my arteries. My cholesterol levels before and since that bypass have always been quite good in the 5s.

    Another significant effect on cholesterol can be Thyroid disease and would you believe it my thyroid levels were outside range at the time of the heart attack. I now take thyroxine.

    I do follow a GI diet and have taken statins since the age of 40


  • I am fortunate enough to spending time with a professor who is also a surgeon age85, still teaching doctors for FRCS exams. Most morning we discuss cholesterol, blood sugar and BP, the three numbers and few other medical matters.

    Sugar in food is the cause of many problems. Am happy to contribute to HU.

  • I was lucky enough to attend Heart UK conference in Warwick this year. The cholesterol charity did have discussion on diabetics if remember correctly!

  • It is very difficult to have any kind of meaningful or helpful discussion about the risks of cardiovascular disease without linking the four parts of metabolic syndrome which are diabetes/pre-diabetes, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A quarter of the world's adults has metabolic syndrome and are therefore at three times the risk of heart disease and twice the risk of death as the rest of the population. Surely we should be looking at health issues in a holistic manner. All factors in any health issue impact on one another. While I appreciate that Heart UK set out to be a cholesterol charity, perhaps it is then misnamed if only cholesterol issues can be discussed and should change it's name from Heart UK to Cholesterol UK.

  • Does metabolic syndome aka "syndrome X" exist? If anyone thinks the evidence for the lipid hypothesis is shaky, please go look at the syndrome X studies again.

    There seems to be a heck of a lot of FH sufferers with normal blood pressure, no obesity, no diabetes.

  • Whether the syndrome actually exists or not is of no real consequence. The fact is that these factors coexist in various combinations in people who have cardiovascular disease and they impact on one another. Perhaps the issue is as I have suggested, that the name of the charity is confusing and this forum, as it currently exists, does not fully meet the needs of either the FH group of members or those who have cardiovascular disease and a combination of risk factors.

  • Thank You for this post. I remember my mom (a nurse and later a nutritionist) and my two MD uncles saying at the time that down the road, Oppenheimer would be vindicated by the corpses laid at McGovern's folly. They railed at the lunacy of pushing hydrogenated fats and loads of over-sugared and over-processed foods appearing in grocery aisles labeled "Non-Fat!" as if that were a good thing. Does no one think that the avalanche of Alzheimer's is not linked to this folly? Without cholesterol neurological function diminishes. And here in the States, the makers of Crestor the common statin is under attack via lawsuits because of people like me who became what is now called a "Statin Diabetic". Take away the statins, see blood sugar fall. That's what happened to me. Loads of Cardiologists didn't believe me when I told the story about 7 years back, but they nod yes yes when I tell it know BC it's a genetic, or rather, EPIGENETIC, thing. The statins flipped the Type 2 Diabetes gene " on" in me. But luckily I recovered. Many (women usually) get stuck with the diabetes forever. That's what shocks us over here, BC we read that in the UK they're talking about dosing even children with statins. I hope it's not true. Diet is key, that's for certain.

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