Australian MPS learn more about low carb diet on visit to UK

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 12 Feb 2019
Australian MPS learn more about low carb diet on visit to UK
A group of Australian MPs have been learning more about the benefits of the low carb diet from Dr David Unwin, a UK-based advocate of the approach.

Dr Unwin, an NHS National Innovator of the Year award-winner, who helped develop our NHS-approved Low Carb Program app, hosted a presentation for his overseas visitors at his surgery in Southport.

Dr Unwin showed the MPs the health benefits of ditching starchy carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes, which include lower blood glucose, weight loss and even being able to put type 2 diabetes into remission.

Speaking to The BMJ, Dr Unwin said: "I was pleased to find the visitors well briefed, pragmatic, and understanding that the real problem is persuading patients that starchy carbs digest down into sugar.

"The visit shows a wonderful energy and a genuine wish to help people. They really liked how what we do is scalable, effective, and inexpensive. Drugs will never be the answer to this epidemic."

The four MPs and a scientific officer, all members of the Western Australia's Education and Health Standing Committee, also met with people from the Southport surgery who have been following the approach, followed by a low carb dinner.

Dr Unwin is a firm believer in lifestyle prescription and in 2017/18 his practice saved a total of £57,000 on medications for conditions including hypertension and type 2 diabetes by offering people the opportunity to change their diet and start exercising more.

In addition, Dr Unwin's surgery runs a low carb group which has produced some phenomenal health outcome for patients.

The committee's chair, Janine Freeman, said: "We felt it was important to investigate drug free options for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It was clear that some of the leaders of this approach are in Britain and very much worth visiting.

"The practice's success shows that it is a powerful practical tool that provides hope for people with type 2 diabetes. It’s an approach we will be highlighting in our report to parliament."

The Australian visitors also met with Roy Taylor, professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University, who has investigated remission of type 2 diabetes through a very low calorie diet.

Prof Taylor said the delegation was "very interested in the understanding of type 2 diabetes as a simple reversible condition of excess fat inside the liver and pancreas of susceptible people."
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