The CSIRO’s new Low-Carb Diet rethinks healthy eating – slashing carbs and putting healthy fats back on the menu

It lets you eat certain breads, grains and low-fat dairy, but allows only 50g of carbs a day, rising to 70g after six weeks – a lot less than the 2005 model but considerably more than other carb-counting diets such as Atkins, Protein Power or the paleo diet, which commonly allow only 20g to 30g of carbs a day in the early stages.

For CSIRO followers in 2017, greater satisfaction is guaranteed by 60 per cent total fats, compared with 35 per cent in the original diet.

But this book is not just about diet, insist co-authors Adelaide dietitian Pennie Taylor and Associate Professor Grant Brinkworth.

Ms Taylor, the senior research dietitian at CSIRO Health Biosecurity in Adelaide, says the aim was to improve the metabolic profiles, particularly of people with Type 2 diabetes.

“When we looked at the research, we wanted to go beyond the weight loss, that the Total Wellbeing diet, as well as this book, can actually achieve,” she says.

“We wanted to see if dietary patterns can improve metabolic markers, so, things like blood glucose levels.”

The book is about “evolving science”, gleaned from new and comprehensive low-carb diet trials in Australia and based on evidence collected in at least 40 independent clinical trials from top-tier academic institutions around the world. It effectively gives us another variation of a high-protein eating pattern “that further reduces carbohydrate and increases healthy fats”.

The authors say the benefits of weight-loss and improved metabolic health, blood glucose control and diabetes management can cut the need for diabetes medication by 40 per cent.

Being able to sustain the diet is a major benefit of the new formula, says Ms Taylor.

“A diet high in good fats blunts off the appetite and helps eliminate cravings,” she says.

The 50g carb allowance also allows for sufficient fibre, “because not enough fibre in your diet can lead to bowel cancer”.

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