Back in 2016 I penned an article, “Aussie dieticians are wrong about fat”, which criticised Australian dieticians’ staunch defence of existing failed dietary guidelines that promote a high carbohydrate / low fat diet:
Since the Australian food pyramid was first introduced in 1982, it has told Australians to consume large quantities of high glycemic foods, such as breads and cereals and to minimise fat:
This food pyramid remained largely unchanged for 33 years until the pyramid was improved in 2015 to promote the importance of unrefined carbohydrates like vegetables and lessen the importance of refined carbohydrates like breads and cereals:
Common amongst both pyramids, however, is the recommendation to consume large quantities of carbohydrates and minimise the consumption of fats.
The problem with this recommendation is that consuming carbohydrates generally elicits a strong glycemic response (i.e. raises blood sugars quickly) whereas consuming fats elicits almost no glycemic response (i.e. keeps blood sugars stable):
Given Type-2 diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, why on earth would dieticians recommend eating foods that elicit the greatest blood sugar response? It makes absolutely no sense…
It’s time for the Dietitians Association of Australia to get with the program and update its thinking on diabetes, saturated fat, and heart disease.
I have also frequently attacked the Australian dietary guidelines for denigrating the consumption of natural saturated fats while largely exonerating the consumption of sugar.
Throughout these articles I have been attacked for peddling ‘snake oil’ and have been told not to steer out of my lane.
Vindication has arrived, however, with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) largely reversing its position. From MichaelWest.com.au:
…these carbohydrate-rich foods cause major fluctuations in blood glucose levels for people with diabetes. Patients are told to manage the flux of glucose in the blood by using medications like insulin, which come with significant side effects.
A more practical approach is to limit the amount of carbs consumed in the diet and therefore reduce the dependence on high-dose medications. Unfortunately, this commonsense approach runs counter to the advice from many “dietary experts” who claim low-carb diets are a “fad”.
The reasons for maintaining this unscientific view have much to do with protecting financial relationships…
In a surprising move, however, the DAA has just announced that it will be ceasing its corporate relationships with food manufacturing and food industry associations by December 31, 2018…
After what seemed to be uncompromising resistance to the latest scientific evidence, Diabetes Australia has issued a new position statement about ‘Low Carb Diets’ for people with diabetes:
“There is reliable evidence that lower carb eating can be safe and useful in lowering average blood glucose levels in the short term (up to 6 months). It can also help reduce body weight and help manage heart disease risk factors such as raised cholesterol and raised blood pressure,” wrote Diabetes Australia.
The statement from Diabetes Australia even suggests that low carb diets may assist people with managing Type-1 diabetes.
As noted in the article, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has also dropped its vexatious sanctioning of orthopaedic surgeon and low cab advocate, Dr Gary Fetke, as well as issued him an apology.
Hopefully, this represents the beginning of a new era of Australian dietary guidelines based on science, evidence and natural foods, not financial arrangements with Big Food and Sugar.
As an aside, if you want a clear explanation of the genesis of Australia’s dietary guidelines (which were passed down from the US), make sure that you watch the below presentation by Dr Zoe Harcombe, who wrote her entire Cambridge PhD thesis on the topic: