Dr. David Unwin on Cutting Carbs

Most people readily agree, whatever their dietary predispositions or convictions, that reducing sugar intake is an important first step toward sustainable weight loss.

What many fail to appreciate is that carbohydrates — especially starches — are essentially long strings of sugars joined together. And when your body digests them, chopping them apart, that can raise your blood glucose level as much as a sugar-sweetened beverage.

That’s one of the points Dr. David Unwin, one of my Health Sherpas, makes in this tweet:

In the video below he is addressing the Royal College of General Practitioners in London at their 2018 Public Health Collaboration Conference.

He describes:

  • how he had seen the number of patients with diabetes in his practice increase by more than 1,000% since the 1980s,
  • how through a low-carb diet about 50% of his patients with diabetes were able to get it into remission without the use of drugs,
  • how Norwood Surgery went from the poorest quality ratings for diabetes management in his region of the NHS to the best in just five years,
  • how Norwood spends the least on diabetes medications of any practice in his region, and
  • Why bananas are so terrible.

That last point comes from this innovative infographic Dr. Unwin has developed to represent various types of carbohydrates in terms of teaspoons of sugar equivalents.

See all of the carb categories converted to sugar teaspoon equivalents.

Dr. Unwin also describes how his patients’ diets, which because they are low-carb are necessarily higher in fat, also have led to

  • lower blood pressure and triglycerides,
  • higher HDL (good) cholesterol
  • improved liver function
  • average weight loss of 9.7 kg (21.3 lbs.) over an average of 26 months.

And according to a heart disease risk calculator from the Joint British Societies for the prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, they also saw a reduction of 12 years of “heart age.”

One of the main fears many have related to a low-carb, high-fat diet is that they will raise their “cardiovascular risk.” If that’s a concern for you, I hope you’ll make time to watch this video.

Dr. Unwin says that in 25 years of practice he had never seen a patient with type 2 diabetes go into remission.

Not even once.

In the last five years, using a low-carb diet, about half have achieved remission.

These are truly remarkable results, but Dr. Unwin is not alone in achieving them. In future posts I’ll introduce you to some of his low-carb co-belligerents.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 13. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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