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Harcombe Z. Dietary fat guidelines have no evidence base: where next for public health nutritional advice?. Br J Sports Med.. 2017a; 51:769-774

Harcombe Z. Designed by the food industry for wealth, not health: the ‘Eatwell Guide’. Br J Sports Med.. 2017b; 51:1730-1731

Harcombe Z, Baker JS, Davies B. Evidence from prospective cohort studies does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med.. 2017; 51:1742-1748

Murdoch C, Unwin D, Cavan D, Cucuzzella M, Patel M. Adapting diabetes medication for low carbohydrate management of type 2 diabetes: a practical guide. Br J Gen Pract.. 2019; 69:360-361

Parliament of Western Australia. Report 6 THE FOOD FIX The role of diet in type 2 diabetes prevention and management. Perth: Parliament of Western Australia. 2019.$file/EHSC%20Report%206%20The%20Food%20Fix%20FINAL.pdf (accessed 4 March 2020)

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Unwin D, Haslam D, Livesey G. It is the glycaemic response to, not the carbohydrate content of food that matters in diabetes and obesity: The glycaemic index revisited. J Insulin Resistance. 2016; 1:(1)

Unwin DJ, Tobin SD, Murray SW, Delon C, Brady AJ. Substantial and Sustained Improvements in Blood Pressure, Weight and Lipid Profiles from a Carbohydrate Restricted Diet: An Observational Study of Insulin Resistant Patients in Primary Care. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2019; 16

A low-carb diet for diabetes: the latest evidence

02 April 2020
4 min read
Volume 31 · Issue 4


Low-carb diets have been shown to reverse type 2 diabetes in some people. George Winter investigates the latest findings

Almost a century ago the Lancet warned that ‘it is the starchy carbohydrate foods rather than the more quickly and readily metabolised fats which are responsible for much of the alimentary type of obesity’ (Anon, 1926); an 18-country study found that ‘high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality’ (Dehghan et al, 2017); and Wincanton-based GP Dr Campbell Murdoch and colleagues reported that a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes ‘can lead to improvements in the condition, reduced medication burden, and (where needed) weight loss’ (Murdoch et al, 2019).

By contrast, the advice of Public Health England (2018) to ‘base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates’, appears incongruous, given that Harcombe (2017a; 2017b) and Harcombe et al (2017) have shown that current UK dietary guidelines are not evidence-based.

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