• Janelle Healy

The Food Fix

The Food Fix report- the role of diet in type 2 diabetes prevention and management

April 11 2019 marks a very significant day for Nutrition IQ in WA.

The Food Fix- The role of diet in type 2 diabetes prevention and management report by the WA Government, Education and Health Standing committee was released. The report recommends changes in the approach to diabetes including low carbohydrate food patterns (Finding 5) and increased access to dietitians for supported behaviour change (Finding 14 and Recommendation19) .

Yay- and we know it works. We have been supporting clients following low carb food patterns for health benefits for a few years now. We have the experience.

The Food Fix- dietary report recommends a suite of sweeping changes in the approach to type 2 diabetes across many levels of government and health delivery starting with:

“Focusing treatment of the disease away from ‘living with it’ to ‘beating it’ should be a priority of our health system. Replacing ‘you need to lose weight’ with ‘here is how you can’ and ‘this is how we can help’ is not simply beneficial for the individual but should be a population-wide policy.”

The support for low carbohydrate food patterns is global which is why the committee consulted local and international health professionals experienced in this field. The Food Fix report was released after consideration of the evidence they gathered. In addition to calling for submissions and conducting hearings with relevant stakeholders in Western Australia, the Committee visited CSIRO researchers in Adelaide and travelled to the United Kingdom to meet with leading researchers, diabetes organisations, government representatives and a GP whose methods have been adopted informally by some Perth GPs.

If you want to read a little more from the current chair of the committee about where they went and who they spoke to, head to this blog by Janine Freeman.

An example from the report is adoption of the LowCarbProgram by the UK National Health Service with the support of dietitians and GP’s. It works, is evidence based and recommends food. The program has reduced the health costs incurred by the individual and the health system for those at risk of diabetes or those who already have a diagnosis. Engaging a dietitian is the only additional cost when someone is supported in following a low carbohydrate approach for achieving health goals. You may even save on your food bills.

There are changes in your metabolic health before a diabetes diagnosis. Your body begins to make changes in response to the foods you eat as metabolic health declines and energy metabolism changes. Some of these changes include fatty liver; or your blood fats become unusual with rises in triglycerides, impacting on cholesterol fractions in your blood; or blood glucose levels remain higher for longer after a meal increasing the risk of damaging capillary walls and oxidising cholesterol fractions.

At Nutrition IQ, we use The ECAL device which is a portable metabolic monitor designed for use in clinical practice. Nutrition IQ has been using this technology for the last 3 years and is the first nutrition practice in Australia to adopt this breath by breath testing technology into the clinic.

The device allows our practitioners to accurately measure individual aspects of a persons energy metabolism by detecting changes in the composition of their breath. Our dietitians then use this information to provide specific, individualised nutrition advice on the most appropriate daily food pattern for you. Essentially, how much carb you need for optimal energy metabolism.

An individualised approach using your measured energy requirements and fuel use is the best clinical option compared to a generic dietary approach. What does “a-healthy diet” mean for you or your parent or your partner or your friend? The Australian Dietary Guidelines are designed for healthy individuals and therefore anyone with a chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes needs medical nutrition therapy (MNT). The experts in MNT are dietitians and at Nutrition IQ , we have experience in low carbohydrate medical nutrition therapy.

With the Food Fix report also recommending increased access to dietitians, there may be more financial support for referral to dietitians int he future. This would be fantastic as dietary behaviour change takes time, effort and is more successful with regular professional support and coaching.

Dietitians experienced in low carbohydrate will be able to take the Science of human nutrition and apply the Art of individualisation of a food pattern that supports your best health.

Nutrition IQ is your experienced low carb dietitian.

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