The Daily Telegraph

Give carbs the chop to lower risk of diabetes

Simple changes in eating habits could stave off potentiall­y deadly disorder, says scientist

- By Sarah Knapton SCIENCE EDITOR

Cutting down on carbohydra­tes such as bread and potatoes so that they make up just 10 per cent of our diet could stop people from developing Type 2 diabetes, an expert has advised. Prof Joan Taylor, of De Montfort University in Leicester, said that most people were already on their way to developing diabetes by their 30s, but simple changes in eating habits could stave off the deadly condition. NHS guidance states that carbs should make up 35 per cent of a balanced diet.

CUTTING down on carbohydra­tes such as bread and potatoes so that they make up just 10 per cent of our diet could stop people from developing Type 2 diabetes, an expert has advised.

Prof Joan Taylor, of De Montfort University in Leicester, warned that most people were already on their way to developing diabetes by their 30s, but simple changes in eating habits could stave off the deadly condition.

Current NHS guidance recommends that carbohydra­tes should make up just over a third of a balanced diet, but Prof Taylor said that ratio was too high.

The professor of pharmaceut­ics told delegates at the British Science Festival in Leicester that cutting down on carbs could result in people losing weight – a good thing for reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes – and their glucose levels returning to normal.

“If you can cut it down to 10 per cent, bearing in mind that the NHS recommenda­tion is about 35 per cent, then not only will you lose weight, which is a good thing for metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, but your blood glucose comes down to normal,” she said.

According to figures from Diabetes UK, in 2021 almost 4.1 million people were living with a diagnosis of any type of diabetes, and that an additional 850,000 were living with Type 2 diabetes, but were yet to be diagnosed – about 5 per cent.

However, Prof Taylor said the true figure could be 10 per cent.

She said: “If you talk to diabetolog­ists, they will tell you that most people from their 30s onwards, particular­ly if they are Bame (Black, Asian and minority ethnic), but even so, are beginning to put on the kind of weight these days that means then moving into the metabolic syndrome, that then is a route to diabetes.

“Most people are at risk. It’s only the slim, athletic types that stay like that into their 30s and 40s that are not. That’s an amazing thing, really.”

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combinatio­n of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Diabetes UK reports that, if nothing radical changes in our eating habits, 5.5million people in the UK will have diabetes by 2030.

The charity estimates that one in three adults in the UK have pre-diabetes, which means their blood glucose levels are above normal but below the threshold for a diabetes diagnosis.

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