Defeat Diabetes

Low carb: recommended by the 2023 Parliamentary Inquiry into Diabetes

3 mins read

The Australian Federal Government Inquiry into Diabetes report has been released, offering a comprehensive look at issues related to diabetes prevention, treatment, and management in Australia.

Defeat Diabetes founder Dr Peter Brukner, Dr James Muecke, and several other low carb advocates, presented compelling evidence about the positive impact of a low carb diet. We were hopeful that the committee would consider this evidence and take a holistic approach to diabetes management, emphasising the benefits of low carb diets as an effective solution to the growing burden of diabetes in Australia.

While the inquiry made several crucial recommendations, it did not formally acknowledge the role of diet, especially low carb diets, in managing diabetes.

Key findings and missed opportunities

The inquiry presented 23 recommendations aimed at improving diabetes management and prevention. Some notable recommendations include:

Review of dietary guidelines: 

An expedited review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines to include more relevant information for people with diabetes. This is a step in the right direction, but without specific mentions of low carb diets, it lacks the clarity needed to guide effective dietary management.

Food labelling and sugar levy:

Changes to food labelling to identify added sugars and the introduction of a levy on sugar-sweetened beverages are commendable. However, we did notice that not all committee members were in favour of this change; perhaps they were wary of an added tax's impact on those already struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Justine Cain, CEO of Diabetes Australia commented:

"Investment in access to healthy food, a levy on sugary drinks, and a ban on junk food advertising to children are all issues we have long been calling for, and we’re pleased that the Committee has responded to those calls.”

Healthcare access: 

Improving access to healthcare through longer appointments, telehealth services, and more consultations with allied health professionals. Also, educating healthcare staff on diabetes management is crucial for better patient outcomes.

Subsidised CGMs: 

Expanding subsidised access to Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) for various diabetes types, including insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, is a significant win. CGMs are valuable tools for managing blood glucose levels and can greatly enhance the quality of life for diabetes patients.

A glimmer of hope?

Interestingly, Mike Freelander MP, the Committee Chairman, acknowledged the importance of low carbohydrate diets in his report foreword. 

"There was significant evidence revealed about the importance of low carbohydrate diets in all forms of diabetes and this needs to be further promoted and evaluated.”

Could this be a glimmer of hope that there is room for promoting and evaluating low-carb diets in future policies and guidelines? We certainly hope so. 

The power of low carb diets

At Defeat Diabetes, we have long championed the benefits of low carb diets in managing and improving blood glucose levels and achieving remission from type 2 diabetes. Numerous studies and real-world evidence from our program show that lowering carbs can significantly improve blood glucose levels, body weight, and overall health. Our success stories are a testament to this.

“We’ve seen more than 10,500 people improve their blood glucose levels, with many achieving remission from type 2 diabetes, and now essentially living a diabetes-free life. While we are disappointed that the inquiry didn’t make any formal recommendations on utilising low carb as a type 2 diabetes management tool, we will continue to educate and help the millions of Australians managing this condition, who are seeking an alternative treatment.” - Dr Peter Brukner.

The path forward

While the inquiry's recommendations are a step in the right direction, they only scratch the surface of the complex issue of diabetes management in Australia. The wide range of the recommendations highlight the need for a comprehensive approach, yet they fall short in recognising the critical role of diet, particularly low carb diets, in managing and preventing type 2 diabetes.

To truly reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes, future reviews and guidelines should explicitly include dietary strategies that have proven effective. 

We urge policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the diabetes community to advocate for comprehensive dietary recommendations that emphasise the importance of low carb approaches. The most compelling evidence for a shift towards a more natural way of eating—free from sugar-laden carbs and processed foods—will come from the people who experience the life-changing benefits of low carb themselves.

If you’re interested in learning more, the full report can be downloaded here

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