It was the same story for Tim Noakes in South Africa, Annika Dahlqvist in Sweden and now Gary Fettke in Australia. They all had their medical careers threatened by dietitians who couldn’t stomach these doctors giving dietary advice that was contrary to their own. These […]
Tag: eat well plate
I adore baked beans, I always have done. Whenever I went home from University my Mum would make a special effort to stock up on lots of tins just for me. It wasn’t just Heinz that I liked, any variety would do. I love them […]
We treat the NHS the way we treat Type II Diabetes and our priorities are all wrong.
With T2DM, a condition brought on by years of sugar and carbohydrate loading, we continue to shovel in more refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars. We hope it will be OK, we tell people it is a progressive disease and we just cover it with fancy expensive drugs and then insulin once it gets bad enough. Where there are real concerns we just cover them with a band-aid. When it becomes too much for the sticky plasters to handle, we have to cut off the limbs that are beyond saving.
This is a strategy that is not working.
As for the NHS, creaking as it is at the seams, we continue to pour in an increasingly unhealthy population with chronic western lifestyle diseases that are entirely preventable and in some cases reversible. We think that the solution to this problem is treatment with more money. More money for drugs and technology and nurses and doctors and beds. When there’s no longer enough money to cope, we cut off the departments, selling what we can to private companies.
This too, is a strategy that is not working.
The solution to both of these crises is to stop cramming in the things that caused the problems in the first place and guess what? They are the same things.
T2DM can be prevented or reversed by putting a stop to the onslaught of dietary carbohydrates and the subsequent hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance. Many of the western lifestyle associated diseases can be thought of in the same way. Decent, researched lifestyle advice, uninfluenced by the food and drug industry’s lobbying, needs to be put in place to bring a halt to the onslaught of an increasingly sick population’s need for more NHS care.
Prevention of T2DM, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, gout, osteoarthritis, some aspects of mental illnesses, maybe even Alzheimer’s and some cancers is all possible with nutrition and lifestyle interventions. That is what will solve so many problems for the NHS, not the fancy new drugs and technologies that cost us millions and make only a handful of people their fortunes.
We need to start prioritising prevention or we will reach a point where there are no longer any limbs left to cut off and the inevitable will happen.
When it comes to weight loss advice we are often told to stop and think about what we are about to do, when we reach for food and snacks. This is supposed to stop us from overindulging through mindfullness. Mindfullness is a big buzzword of […]
We need to talk about breakfast.
The most common question I am asked when it comes to diet is what to eat for breakfast, especially by those seeking a low-carb option. When you’ve got a whole family to sort out before school and work, breakfast needs to be fast and free of too much thought. It is no wonder breakfast cereals have risen in popularity (convenience being one thing but the vast amounts of addictive sugar being another). In the past, it has been no different in my house, especially once my girls were able to make breakfast for themselves. Health seekers, keen to not fill up on so much sugar will go for yoghurts, low-fat of course, fruit juice, raisins, and oats. Either way, the sugar and carbohydrate content are still high and the hormonal response by the body will be the opposite of what you might think. I wrote about this in another post here.
As a doctor based in hospital, I was recently discussing the overnight wayward blood sugars of one of our patients when the breakfast trolley was wheeled past. Our conversation stopped in its tracks, I just couldn’t take my eyes off the breakfast. I was asked if I wanted some.
Er, no thanks.
The trolley was laden with toasted white bread, with pots of fake butter and jams, there were boxes of sugary breakfast cereals with skimmed milk, there were cartons of orange and apple juice and low-fat fruit yoghurts. I was shocked at the amount of sugar and carbohydrate we were feeding our patients but that’s breakfast isn’t it? It really shouldn’t be.
I was told that you can’t expect hospital patients to get bacon and eggs, after all who is going to cook it? Of course, there is nobody to cook it, because we are too cheap to pay someone to cook for our patients. We choose cheap convenience over our health and the health of our hospital patients. They need protein and fat, but we can’t provide it with the resources or the attitudes that we have.
At home it is easy to make the effort to change what we choose for breakfast. We can choose how to start our day with a breakfast that will not shoot up our insulin, nor prevent fat cells from giving up their precious reserves and will not make us hungry only hours later. In hospital it is a different matter. The foods we feed our patients, the very people who need the best nutrition that we have, are based on the government guidelines that attempt to prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease. They don’t prevent obesity, diabetes or heart disease, they make it worse.
Breakfast needs to break free from the low-fat, high-carb sugary nonsense. We need eggs, meat, fish, real yoghurt, real butter, real cream, nuts and seeds. It can’t be fat-free and protein-free, these essentials are being restricted by this diet. The only thing you are restricting with a low carbohydrate diet are chronic western diseases.
What we need to do is to start taking what we feed our patients seriously, as seriously as we take all the drugs we dish out. We might be able to do that at home but unfortunately, things won’t change in our institutions without a change in the government guidelines and that’s not coming any day soon.