This is a story of 3 average Australians who are overweight, have appalling diets and lifestyles, and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as a result of their choices. Yes, type 2 diabetes is caused by your food and lifestyle choices, and is very easy to completely reverse!
In part 1 of this series, the 3 diabetes sufferers are given 3 different treatments:
1) one will follow the Paleo lifestyle and advised by chef Pete Evans and orthopedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke (also an author and health champion for reducing sugar and polyunsaturated oils). The Paleo lifestyle (as it's not really a diet because it doesn't restrict calories) is to eat more vegies, healthy fats, grass-fed meats, fermented foods, and cutting dairy, grains and sugar - so it's just real, natural, low-inflammatory foods!
2) one will follow the 5:2 diet as proposed by Michael Mosely (a journalist!). This diet restricts your diet to just 800 calories (normally 2000 calories is recommended by dietitians for a "normal" daily intake) for 5 days, then letting go and having pretty much anything on the other 2 days per week with no calorie restrictions.
3) the last person will get advice from a Dietitian, and follow the "rules" as instructed by the Dietitians Association of Australia and the government's food guidelines.
The cause of diabetes is simple - wrong food choices of high-carbohydrate foods such as sugary foods and drinks, alcohol, breads and bakery products, and whole grain foods - breakfast cereals, pasta and more. Refined or processed carbohydrates like these break down into glucose (ie sugar) in the body quickly, leading to high blood sugar levels. The body responds to this by secreting large amounts of insulin, which does 2 main things - 1) forces cells to take in more glucose (because high blood glucose is toxic and inflammatory), and 2) forces the body to turn the excess blood sugar into fat. Simply, high amounts of these carbohydrate foods causes weight gain as fat.
Over time, the body gets less responsive to the high blood glucose, which remains high, and the pancreas (the organ which produces insulin) starts producing less because it's worn out. This leads to insulin resistance (as insulin no longer works), constant very high blood glucose, inflammation of the blood vessels, high cholesterol, eyesight starts to fail, nerves stop working (hence a lack of feeling in legs mainly) and can lead to infections that don't heal and eventual amputation being required. The kidneys start failing too, leading to high blood pressure, then heart disease, then death. So diabetes is a very serious condition.
Then we come back to the point of the article - what is the difference between Nutritionist and a Dietitian? There are many in this example of type 2 diabetes:
1) A Nutritionist will treat the cause of health issues by recommending reducing refined and processed carbohydrate foods as listed above, and replacing them with healthier alternatives so the sufferer doesn't feel they are missing out or going on a diet where they are frequently hungry. A Nutritionist will recommend more vegies, healthy proteins from grass-fed meats and plant sources, healthy fats (which don't lead to weight gain!) and reducing bad fats such as trans-fat, and a healthy lifestyle of more movement, reducing stress and its effects, and more.
2) A Dietitian (as shown in the episode above) wanted to increase fibre in their diet (ie more vegies) which is great, but to go on a diet by restricting calories (ie a low-fat diet), and INCREASING intake of whole grains! This will prolong the high blood sugar and pancreas issues in this sufferer because grain based food (high in carbs) are part of the cause of diabetes!
3) A Nutritionist uses treatments from recent proven scientific research. A Dietitian will follow the recommendations of the Dietitians Association of Australia which are NOT backed up by recent research, but by corporate interests and food companies who have a say in the guidelines or who support the DAA financially, as listed on their website (a conflict of interest?). Dietitians who step outside the DAA guidelines with a low-carbohydrate diet for diabetes are de-registered and kicked out of the association as seen in one case in 2014: http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/10/jennifer-elliott-vs-dietitians-association-of-australia/
4) A Nutritionist won't recommend a restrictive diet for diabetes, won't recommend calorie counting (as calories are not all equal and affect people differently anyway). Diets can be very restrictive and tough for people to stick to long term. And then the body will adapt to the low food intake and start slowing down metabolism and energy production, and actually storing more fat because it thinks it is starving! This is why there is the rebound effect after a short while on a diet. Hence diets don't work!
5) A Nutritionist recognises that health conditions are complex and often have multiple causative factors, which can be different in people with the same condition. Hence they will recommend a holistic (whole body) personalised treatment plan, because everyone is different! A Dietitian has a "one size fits all" approach with a single treatment plan for everyone, which is the standard medical approach. Dietitians mostly work in a hospital environment. Have you seen the food fed to hospital patients lately? I rest my case...
We will see how this story concludes later!