Why GPs are being told to go Low GL

  • 13 Jun 2018
  • Reading time 3 mins
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BMJ Cover

Is the medical profession finally waking up to the need to put nutrition at the top of the agenda? Today’s British Medical Journal is devoted entirely to nutrition. Out are calories, fat and dietary cholesterol. In are low GL foods and diets. It reads a bit like my Low GL Diet Bible. We have the brave editor, Fiona Godlee, to thank. And Swiss Re, the insurers insurer. But, for the first time, life expectancy has not only slowed-down, but reversed in recent years. That’s a big cost to the insurance industry. They need people to be healthy, and living longer and paying their insurance! Not dying younger, with big payouts! Here’s a few quotes from today’s issue of the British Medical Journal.

• Nutrition policy should prioritise food based dietary targets.

• For long-term weight control, quality and types of foods have different effects and are a more relevant focus than calorie counting.

• Trials showed that a focus on total fat, a mainstay of dietary guidelines since 1980, produced little measurable health benefit.

• Direct evidence of the benefits of lowering cholesterol or LDL cholesterol by changing the fat content of the diet is lacking.

• For weight loss and glycaemic control, decades of emphasis on low fat diets were questioned by the results of a series of prospective cohort studies, metabolic feeding studies, and randomised trials, which showed that foods rich in healthy fats produced benefit, while foods rich in starch and sugar caused harm.

• Reductionist models translate poorly to non-communicable diseases. This will require moving away from the current simplistic belief that reliable nutritional evidence can be derived only from large scale randomised trials.

• The total amount of carbohydrate as a percentage of dietary energy is less important than the carbohydrate type for risk of chronic disease.

• Refined grains, potatoes, and sugar sweetened beverages are associated with increased risk, whereas minimally processed grains, legumes, and whole fruits are associated with reduced risk.

• Glycemic load has been shown to be a better predictor of glycaemic response than the amounts of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in food.

• GL is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes; cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, including stroke, in women

• Greater refined grain intake, especially from white rice, is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Food based prevention of chronic disease risk should prioritise fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish and lower consumption of red and processed meats and sugar sweetened drinks.

• Higher consumption of nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, fermented dairy products, and coffee are further likely to confer benefit.

Why now? The major part of the inspiration for this is that this issue was funded by Swiss Re, the health insurers insurer. The life insurance industry pay 2 trillion dollars a year in coverage for individual life insurance policies. The assumption has been that life expectancy will keep increasing. But, for the first time, life expectancy has not only slowed-down, but reversed in recent years. That’s a big cost to the insurance industry. They need people to be healthy, and living longer and paying their insurance! Not dying younger, with big payouts! So, basically the s**t is hitting the financial fan and that’s going to force a major change in medical management of life-threatening disease.

Don’t miss my seminar on HOW TO DISEASE PROOF YOUR LIFE as part of the How to Improve Your Health Naturally day on 23/24 June. 

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