Jeff Volek Calls for Signatories to a Petition Against Current US Dietary Guidelines

petitionThe Diabetes Diet’s attention was drawn to a recent call for signatories to a petition aimed at changing US dietary guidelines.

We’re British, but the official guidelines for nutrition in this country have been very similar to US advice in the past.

The plea for signatories to the petition comes from Dr Jeff Volek, a registered dietician and professor at the University of Connecticut, and regarded as an expert in low-carbohydrate diets. He is calling for people to sign the petition because he considers that the US dietary guidelines have not worked and obesity and diabetes is a public health crisis, with more than half the adult US population having diabetes or being pre-diabetic.


Dr Volek says that he recently attended the US House Agriculture Committee to discuss  the guidelines, where the secretary of the USDA and HHS were asked question about the current scientific report and guidelines that are likely to be published this December (2015).

Dr Volek says: “The chairman and multiple members of the House Ag[riculture] Committee were rightfully concerned about the report and the failure to acknowledge the problem of excess carbohydrate consumption and the body of literature on low-carbohydrate diets.

“I invite you to join me in asking the government to make a change and ensure that quality science generated from a variety of different experimental approaches be the center focus in determining the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Progress can only occur if we are willing to disrupt the status quo and recognize the insights of newer, better and more credible science.”

The link to the petition is here:

You can read more about Dr Volek’s work at his website, artandscienceoflowcarb, and The Diabetes Diet contains lots of examples of meal plans and recipes you can follow if you’d like to eat  a low-carb diet yourself.


Photo thanks to the League of Women Voters.




Low-Carb Ribs Recipe

There’s nothing quite so primal as locking your gnashers round ribs… As an added bonus, ribs are dead cheap too – which is always a bonus when you’re following a low-carb diet.

Most ribs usually come accompanied by a really sticky sauce – which means it probably has a lot of added sugar. but then without that sauce they wouldn’t be so nice, hmm? Anyway, here’s an easy-peasy, low-carb version which also uses the slow cooker.

Low-Carb Ribs

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ribs... it's a primal thing.
Ribs… it’s a primal thing.

  • Rack of pork ribs (about 600-800g)
  • 100ml water
  • 2tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tsp Canderel
  • 1 onion
  • 200g passata

Mix together the water, vinegar, passata and soy sauce. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour over the sauce and top with the onions.

Cook on the low setting for seven hours. Remove from the slow cooker. Place the sauce in a saucepan with the onions and bring back to a simmer.

Liquidise to get a smooth-ish sauce and add the Canderel. Pour over the ribs to serve.

Allow about 8-10g carbs per serving.

Super Sides for Low-Carb Diets

Steak, chicken and fish – all nice ingredients by themselves, but all the more nicer when accompanied by a delicious side dish!

Side dishes are what will keep you on the straight and narrow on a low-carb diet as they prevent boredom. Sure, a lovely piece of steak accompanied by salad can be nice, but second time round it’s even better with home-made coleslaw. Strips of lamb fried with cumin and served with spiced onions are fantastic and roast chicken paired with cheesy leeks is unbelievably delicious.

Here are three super sides to be going on with.

Home-Made Coleslaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Leeks, cream and cheese pre-cooking.

  • 200g white cabbage
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled
  • Two spring onions
  • 1 tbsp garlic chives
  • 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise

Finely slice the cabbage, and grate the carrots. Chop the spring onion and mix all the vegetables with the garlic chives. Add in the mayonnaise and allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to mix.

Carbs: total about 32g, with about 8g fibre

Spiced Onions with Sumac

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
spiced onions
1 large white onion

  • 1tbsp sumac
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1tsp sea salt

Peel the onion and cut it in half. Finely slice into half-moons. Mix with the salt, sumac, vinegar and parsley with the onions and leave to sit for 20 minutes. (This softens the onions and takes away that strong, bitter taste you get from raw onions.)

Carbs total: about 18g, with about 3g fibre

Cheesy Leeks

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Leeks, cream and cheese pre-cooking.
Leeks, cream and cheese pre-cooking.

  • 800g leeks
  • 2 slices garlic
  • 25g butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 200ml double cream
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • Grated nutmeg

Take off the leeks’ outer leaves, split down the middle without cutting all the way through and wash. Dry well and slice into rings.

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the oil. Fry the leeks with the garlic and thyme for five minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper.


Add three-quarters of the cheese to the double cream and mix well. Add the grated nutmeg.

Place the leeks in a shallow, oven-proof dish and pour over the cream and cheese mix. Top with the rest of the grated cheese and add some more black pepper.

Cook for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C.

Carbs per serving: 18g, with 2.5g fibre

For more delicious low-carb recipes and menu plans, see The Diabetes Diet by Dr Katharine Morrison and Emma Baird

The Etiquette of Diabetes

Do you do blood tests in public?
Do you do blood tests in public?

Do you inject in public? What happens if you are in a meeting and you suddenly experience a hypo (low blood sugar) and what do you say to people when you are invited to their homes for a meal?

These are the questions I have been asking of late, as I have been thinking of diabetic etiquette. My modus operandi for life is “do not make a fuss”. It’s the Brit in me. I shy away from behaviours that draw too much attention and I am not keen on putting people to trouble.

But health is important and being too polite to refuse a piece of cake that a friend has made means you run the risk of high blood sugars and feeling ill, politeness starts to look silly doesn’t it?

Let’s take a look at the different issues that come up when you are living with diabetes and how you can handle them.

So – injections in public.

Continue reading “The Etiquette of Diabetes”