I have gone over their position statement and this is my review...
Firstly, what is Diabetes?! Diabetes is caused by your food intake being too high in refined and processed carbohydrates, which causes high blood sugar levels. Over time, your cells start ignoring the insulin signal so your blood sugar levels remain high. More and more insulin is produced, as your body is now "insulin resistant", until your poor pancreas organ effectively wears out, and now you have diabetes. All caused by a high carbohydrate diet.
So a lower carb eating plan would seem to be the obvious solution! Many independent and evidence-based Nutritionists and Naturopaths (like me!) have been saying this for many years! Low carb for diabetes has been researched and recommended since the 1920s, but not by the diabetes organisations.
Some notes of the "position statement" are:
1) Diabetes Australia say that there is no "one size fits all" approach to "living well with diabetes". Absolutely true! So why have they been using a "one size fits all approach" for decades?! Eat less fat, less salt, follow the food guidelines, and take this insulin and medication. This doesn't fix diabetes, but only makes it worse.
2) There are many reminders that someone with diabetes should speak with their dietitian BEFORE considering going low carb. Why work with someone who hasn't actually fixed the problem in how long?
3) Dietitians are not allowed to recommend a low carb diet for any condition, as it's against their rules. The reason why is explained later... So if you have diabetes and want to try low carb, you speak to your dietitian, who will just say - "you shouldn't do that" and "eat more grains", which are high in carbs, which causes high blood sugar, which causes more insulin resistance. Pass those diabetes meds please.
4) They are still suggesting that healthy fats should be avoided because of their risk to heart disease - an issue which hasn't been proven in thousands of published studies in decades...
5) People starting a low carb diet will experience tiredness, headaches, nausea and dizziness. Really?! Not in my experience in a low carb plan - in fact, the chronic headaches and migraines disappear within days of starting low carb, and nausea and dizziness reduces too, as does your weight, blood sugar level, cholesterol level, symptoms, and many other "side effects"!
6) They claim low carb diets are popular because they are easy to follow and are heavily promoted in the media! NO! Because there is a lot of very good research showing that they work amazingly well for people with diabetes, weight issues, heart disease, cancer, and many other chronic health conditions!
7) They do say that there is "reliable evidence" (hooray!) that "lower carb" eating can be "safe and useful in lowering blood glucose levels"... Great! Then they add "in the short term (up to 6 months)" but only because they didn't include any studies in their position statement which went longer than this.
8) They didn't consider "vegetables " as being "carbs", when they are. But a "low carb" plan doesn't mean eating less or no veg! Low carb means low refined carbs like sugar, grains, grain products and alcohol, as all of which greatly raise blood sugars and insulin response.
9) They included 3, yep, just 3 pathetic studies to show that low carb wasn't proven to be of benefit in type 1 diabetes, and the most number of people tested in the 3 tests was 45 people. Another 3 studies used for type 2 diabetes. Hardly good examples, when I can find more and better quality studies showing much better benefits for diabetes.
10) AND their definition of "low carb " is diets with no more than 130gm of carbs per day. That's NOT a low carb diet! That's a MODERATE to high carb diet! We don't consider a diet to be low carb unless it's less than 30-50gm of carbs per day. No wonder they didn't get the really good results of reduced blood glucose and HbA1c (a diabetes blood sugar marker test) than I've seen in practice!
In summary, at best, Diabetes Australia are saying, you MAY be able to do a "moderate carb" diet (because it sure isn't low carb!) for up to 6 months maximum, only if you aren't pregnant, a child, breastfeeding, those who are malnourished (including those with cancer, infections, heart disease, and osteoporosis), with liver or kidney failure, eating disorders, on diabetes medications, or if you are a dietitian or diabetes consultant!
ALL of these conditions are ideal for a low-fat and highly nutritious eating plan! All of these health conditions will greatly improve from eating less sugar, grains and starchy foods.
Despite the position statement and its attempt at trying to stop the public criticism against their outdated advice for diabetics, the Diabetes Australia website still has the same old poor advice. The same with the Dietitians Association of Australia. "People with diabetes should follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines", whose high-carb advice caused the diabetes in the first place, because the guidelines were written by the Dietitians Association of Australia, who in turn are sponsored by many food industry groups, and processed food maufacturers like Campbells, Arnotts, Nestle, the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF), and more! It says so on their website!
Now do you see why we have this epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases? Nothing is going to really change until the DAA is either replaced, or they start giving factual nutrition advice based on real science, and not on corporate "sponsorships".
Nothing new to see here, move along now...