INFORMING HEALTHY DECISIONS

We are a UK registered charity dedicated to improving public health and saving the NHS money at the same time through better lifestyle information.

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THINKING ABOUT
IT?

Whether you’re a passionate healthcare professional or a passionate member of the public, as a PHC member you will receive our monthly newsletter, a members t-shirt and 3 sets of real food booklet packs to help spread the word.

However, a PHC annual membership doesn’t just mean getting all of these bits and bobs. It means you’re part of a movement that wants to turn the tide on public health and support the cause of eating real food, avoiding fake food and being active everyday.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Public Health Collaboration is a registered charity (No. 1171887) dedicated to informing and implementing healthy decisions for better public health. If you would like to help us distribute better lifestyle information to more people across the UK by donating what you can here.

We are funded by individual members of the public who want to help the UK become healthier and save the NHS money. You can find out more about the PHC on the Charity Commission website here.

You can confirm our findings on the government website.
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey

We are funded by individual members of the public who want to help the UK become healthier and save the NHS money. This enables us to provide our services, such as patient meetings, to the NHS for free.

Yes. The NICE guidelines for type 2 diabetes state under guideline 1.3.6:

• “Individualise recommendations for carbohydrate and alcohol intake, and meal patterns.” https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng28/chapter/1-Recommendations#dietary-advice-2

Diabetes UK also published a position statement in 2017 that supported low-carbohydrate diets for individuals living with type 2 diabetes:

• “The current evidence suggest that low-carb diets can be safe and effective for people with Type 2 diabetes. They can help with weight loss and glucose management, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So, we can recommend a low-carb diet for some people with Type 2 diabetes.” https://tinyurl.com/y4gdeffo

The Royal College of General Practitioners has a 30 minute e-learning module called “Type 2 Diabetes – a Low GI Approach” developed by Dr David Unwin. http://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/t2diabetes

Dr Unwin has also published his practice’s results in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health titled ”Insights from a general practice service evaluation supporting a lower carbohydrate diet in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and prediabetes: a secondary analysis of routine clinic data including HbA1c, weight and prescribing over 6 years”. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000072

The British Journal of General Practice published an article titled “Adapting diabetes medication for low carbohydrate management of type 2 diabetes: a practical guide”https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp19X704525

Whether you’re a passionate healthcare professional or a passionate member of the public, as a PHC member you will receive our monthly newsletter, a members t-shirt and 3 sets of real food booklet packs to help spread the word. Find out more and sign up here.

Many meta-analyses and studies over the past several years have repeatedly shown that saturated fat is not associated with cardiovascular disease:

• “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.” https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725

• “Saturated fats are not associated with all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes.” https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3978

• “Dietary fat guidelines have prevailed for almost 40 years. The evidence base at the time of their introduction has been examined for the first time and found lacking. Evidence currently available provides no additional support.” http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096734

• “Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke.” http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32252-3

• “Large randomized controlled trials of at least 6 months duration with carbohydrate restriction appear superior in improving lipid markers when compared with low-fat diets.” https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuy049

Increasing evidence shows that sugar and refined carbohydrates are responsible:“When saturated fats are replaced with refined carbohydrates, and specifically with added sugars (like sucrose or high fructose corn syrup), the end result is not favorable for heart health.” https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.pcad.2015.11.006

No. Healthy eating can be just as cheap or as expensive as unhealthy eating. For instance a portion of carrots is 6p, a portion of broccoli is 12p and a portion of pork chops is 64p. This totals 82p for a real food meal, and if you’re still hungry a portion of mixed nuts is 58p. In addition, feel free to refer to our Real Food Real Budget flyer for a full list of real foods and their prices. If you lost the copy you were given you can always download it in PDF format from our website. https://www.PHCuk.org/booklets

The most recent meta-analysis shows that not only do low-carbohydrate diets of real food result in better weight loss but also result in better health outcomes:

• “Compared with subjects on low-fat diets, subjects on low-carbohydrate diets experienced significantly greater weight loss, greater triglycerides reduction and greater increase in HDL-cholesterol after 6 months to 2 years of intervention.” https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515004699

Also, our own search shows that low-fat diets have never significantly outperformed low-carbohydrate diets out of 67 randomised controlled trials. Whereas low-carbohydrate diets have significantly outperformed low-fat diets 36 out of 67 randomised controlled trials. https://www.PHCuk.org/RCTs

Yes. The most recent meta-analysis found that low-carbohydrate diets were more effective than low-fat diets in improving weight, HbA1c, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072005

Try full fat plain yogurt with nuts and berries or your standard British- eggs, bacon, mushroom and tomato. Another vegetarian option could be a breakfast omelet with cheese. For breakfast on-the-go just take a few hard-boiled eggs and a slice of boiled ham.

For some people the first few days of ‘cutting carbs’ is difficult. After all your system may have running on sugar for years, this is a metabolic shock! It takes a while for the system to swap to burning fat as fuel instead. Make sure you are drinking enough water. Odd as it sounds many people find they need extra salt on a lower carb diet. Interestingly this is because the sugar hormone – insulin causes you to retain salt- so cutting sugar may result in ‘weeing out’ salt you had been hanging onto for some time. In its turn this loss of salt can improve your blood pressure. I remember I suddenly started feeling dizzy if I stood up too quickly! Some doctors find their patients are able to reduce their BP medications. For the same reason some find muscle cramps and weakness are a problem. Again, more salt is the remedy, sometimes magnesium supplements also help with this.

Yes, this may matter. The most important drugs are, any you are taking for diabetes. If they lower your blood sugar and low carb does too you may have a problem! The new SGLT2 inhibitor drugs (eg.  Dapagliflozin or Empagliflozin) have particular problems. You should consult your doctor before making major dietary changes. Though the commonest prescribed drug for diabetes, metformin is fine with a low carb approach.

With all the green stuff in this diet this should not be a problem, first check your fluid intake. Magnesium supplements can really help or milled linseed on your full fat yoghurt and raspberries.

Buy slices of meat/cheese/crudities. Low carb bread sandwiches. Boxed up salad with olives, meat, eggs, cheese. As a bonus full fat mayo is back on! I always travel with a pack of almonds and a bar of 90% dark chocolate for emergencies. 

At work is there is a microwave? Try left overs re-heated or scrambled egg with cheese and tomato or homemade soup 

Water (sparkling) with slice of lemon. Coffee, avoid latte as each 100mls of milk is equivalent to about a teaspoon of sugar, or Tea. Herb teas are good.  Alcohol; my son Rob calls beer ‘liquid toast’ hence the beer belly, but in moderation or on holiday spirits-gin, whiskey, vodka with sugar free mixers or just ice, red wine or for a special occasion champagne is OK. Remember I did say moderation because alcohol makes you hungry and could ‘dissolve your resolve’!

Having a ‘cheat meal’ may slow your weight loss as you’ll go back to being a sugar burner and it may take several days to return to fat burning.   

Also be honest, if you are a sugar or carb addict will it be be a struggle to get back on track again? I remember one Christmas my wife Jen came off the wagon for ‘just one meal’ and didn’t regain control till May having gained two stone! Snacks: in general, I find these just add to my hunger – though to be honest it took me a year to stop eating biscuits altogether. For a while I tried raw carrot and cheese or nuts and still occasionally have a few almonds.

This can be a challenge, but I have eaten delicious low carb meals across five continents over the last 8 years.  Most restaurants are happy to swap the chips for green veg or salad. Instead of a sweet I ask for a plate of cheese (without the biscuits –then you often get more cheese!) Sometimes, odd as it sounds I may even order a final course like chicken liver pate off the starter menu.  Avoid all-inclusive holidays –it will be cheap carby stuff for sure. Warn  hotels or restaurants you are low carb in advance, you will need to explain this means no bread but more green veg. On the whole avoid Chinese meals, not only are they full of sugar (think sweet and sour) but they add a lot of monosodium glutamate (MSG, E number 621) as a flavour enhancer. This can really ramp up your appetite and gives some people (including me) heart palpitations.

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