Troy StapletonBy Marika Sboros

Ask Australian physician Dr Troy Stapleton if a low-carbohydrate diet is sustainable for type 1 diabetes and you get a one-word answer: “Yes.” Ask the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and you get the opposite: “No.”

Who should you believe? All my money’s on Stapleton. He has type 1 diabetes. He has also used low-carb to control his condition for four years now. Stapleton has reduced his insulin intake significantly. He is feeling better than ever.

Stapleton gave a brilliant talk on the topic to Low Carb Down Under, available on video.  Here’s why.

If you’re a type 1 diabetic, the video link to Stapleton’s talk below is for you. Even if you’re not a diabetic, it’s riveting. It goes to the heart of what’s wrong with conventional dietary advice for diabetics not just in Australia but worldwide.

The DAA follows conventional “wisdom” on best practice for type 1 diabetes, or type 2. However, growing evidence shows that that wisdom isn’t so wise after all.The DAA likes to say low-carb for type 1 diabetics may not be “physically or mentally sustainable”. It also says it may not be “environmentally sustainable”. That can seem like protesting too much.

Richard Bernstein

Stapleton had a time limit on his talk for Low Carb Down Under. He didn’t bother to address the environmental sustainability claim. Like the rest of the DAA’s claims about low-carb for diabetics, Stapleton says that’s “also rubbish”.

Harsh words from a medical doctor about Australia’s influential and voluntary dietary organisation? Sure, and for good reason. The DAA is coming under sustained attack for dishing out advice that feeds sponsors’ interests, not patients. This is especially true of the DAA’s advice for diabetics and rightly so.

Stapleton is currently Director of Radiology for the Sunshine Coast Health Service. The DAA may be tempted to say he’s “only a radiologist” and shouldn’t talk about diet. I’d advise  the DAA  to resist that temptation.

Like the Australian Health Professions Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the DAA doesn’t much like doctors who dare to talk about diet. (Watch this space for what the AHPRA is up to in muzzling Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke. Fettke promotes low-carb diets for his patients but the AHPRA says he can’t, not now or ever.)

Stapleton has everything it takes to speak about diet for type 1 diabetes. He is not a nutritionist or a dietitian. However, he has undergraduate qualifications in epidemiology, statistics, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, medicine and surgery. He also has postgraduate qualifications in physics, anatomy, pathology and radiodiagnosis.

Consequently, he does have “some skills in this area”, as he says in the video with restrained understatement.



He isn’t giving medical advice to anyone. He is simply saying how he treats his own condition and why he chooses to do so. As to conflicts of interest, he has none. Stapleton says he is a radiologist. He is simply “happy to speak on the topic because it has been so beneficial for me”. He also explains why he changed his treatment radically after reading Dr Richard Bernstein’s groundbreaking book, Diabetes Solution, A Complete Guide To Achieving Normal Blood Sugars.

Stapleton is the best advertisement for what he and many other doctors now preach about a holistic approach to diabetes. In essence, it’s about fresh whole food that is prepared from scratch at home.

Low Carb Down Under is also well worth following. Click here to visit Low Carb Down Under website. Melbourne anaesthetist Dr Rod Taylor started it with fitness professional Jaime Hayes. Taylor is another of that rare breed Down Under: a doctor with an open mind who is not wedded to dogma. He gives presentations on restricting carbohydrate intake for long-term health benefits to medical and other allied health professionals.

Enjoy watching.



  1. Written as a healthcare consumer, not as medical opinion or advice: As a T1D for now 52 years the LCHF diet has been a god-send. I put it as number one influence on getting my BSLs under the best control yet, with insulin pump use as second. I allege that the suppression of this type of diet by DAA and its inability to declare an obvious conflict of interest in doing so is a crime against all Aussies with or at risk of diabetes, including the land’s first people. The DCCT trial, now beyond 30 years, as I understand it as a healthcare consumer, seems to make it clear that the first 10 years of a TIDs’ life on insulin is pretty critical in determining occurrence of diabetic complications later. The better the control in those 10 years the less complications later, allowing ,of course, for other health conditions and the luck or otherwise of one’s genetics. Do doctors stretch that DCCT finding to include diabetic children? Who dares not to? The saddest thing I heard on a forum was a father discussing his 5 year old diabetic son who was getting high BSL readings after eating a certain breakfast cereal. The father was wondering why the meter and Libre were reading different blood sugar levels. When asked, “Why feed him this cereal”, the father’s reply was: “he likes (cereal variety X) and we have got insulin”. Who teaches these parents and kids this stuff? Is it laziness or lack of effort on the part of the health team and ‘let the kid enjoy his cereal’ (and let Big Food potentially ruin another life with their advertising)?or is it risk of hypos? is the dietitian too afraid to suggest another approach,? maybe the physician has read that low carb diets increase the risk of heart disease (which was a statistical fudge created by whoever wished maybe to re-establish the hi carb mantra of the ADA)? (and a US source meantime lists carbohydrate requirement in humans as ‘apparently zero’) And no, the father had not been told about DCCT or what Ludwig et al had reported in Boston with very low carb diets in diabetic children. And I remain mystified that we have doctors in Oz worried about the blood vessel linings of diabetic children and wondering about prescribing statins! instead of dealing with the cause!!!!!
    As far as I can see Bernstein’s approach has been shown to work, for kids, adults and pregnant women. And a variation of that worked as reported in 2008 by Professor O’Dea for Australian aboriginals (T2Ds) returning to a bush tucker diet. I have read that the LCHF diet is really akin to the diet of thousands of years ago and we know now how it has been corrupted. See Belinda Fettke’s research for enlightment.
    Any impression of cultishness around LCHF in Oz I allege comes down to the suppressive elements within DAA (power over continued registration, control of University Dietetics curriculum via power of accreditation and control on post-grad education) and I contend, APHRA’s incomprehensible punishing of Dr Gary Fettke where, instead of apparently swallowing the DAA line, surely they could have done some independent thinking. And consulted or read up someone like Zoe Harcombe or one of her peers such as in New Zealand, whose savvy with statistics and deciphering misleading, rigged clinical trails (and defence of a similar prosecution of Dr Tim Noakes in South Africa) would have straightened out the alleged distortions in what they were presented by DAA?
    The lack of oversight of APHRA by COAG might have added to the debacle. A reading of ‘Jennifer Elliott vs DAA’ may dispel any doubts about the nature of DAA..
    I praise Dr Stapleton as a doctor and a fellow diabetic for getting up there and telling us how it is.
    Wake up Australia, this guy has a message which is important and needs to be heard. Why are not other doctors doing this?
    I have heard one dietitian recently support LCHF in public and many more on Tweeter. Time that the worm turned.

  2. People have been free to choose their own food lifestyle since the beginning of time. A plethora of scientific, holistic and empirical nutritional knowledge has been around forever to facilitate the decision process.

    Don’t blame the the medical science fraternity, Big Pharma or marketing for people’s self-indulgent decision making. People have been informed about health options. It is up to the individual to self-educate, critically analyse and synthesise information so that it best benefits their own personal health context.

    More often than not people become unhealthy due to their own choices, irrespective of whatever knowledge and advice they have been exposed to. Modern lifestyle choices are mostly to blame.

    All the health group lobbying that has emerged have in my opinion simply become another means if preying on people and making lots and lots of $$$$.Even more abhorrent is the fame and celebrity status some people are manipulating for financial gain. I see many many people in the public arena “riding in the back” of a very very old food regime concept, many people creating elite groups for the sole purpose of making money , groups that prey on the weak, vulnerable, uneducated, unenlightened and the fragile. Many of these people make a lot of money being media doctors, media mentors and worst of all creating “select membership” groups that require strict compliance and financial commitment. This exploitation of people is inexcusable.

    Thousands and thousands of people have now fallen into the trap of the ‘food gospel’ according to so and do and so and so. ( I could name them but won’t) Would people follow Bernstein/Banting or any other one person if a vegan lifestyle were advocated or taught? No alcohol allowed? Why don’t these ‘gurus’ offer their knowledge for free. Why the exclusive “closed” groups ?

    • Hi Marina, You appear to make the case for gluttony and sloth as the real reason for pandemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, even dementia. Dementia diseases are becoming so common these days that doctors call them type 3 diabetes because of the documented link with diet.

      I’m surprised that you do that. As an educator, you may be aware of research showing that many – if not most – top scientists and growing numbers of doctors and dietitians now vigorously disagree that gluttony and sloth are the main drivers of the pandemics. They say that’s an old message. It’s called CICO – the calories in, calories out theory. It’s one that food and drug companies, and the doctors and dietitians in their thrall love to hear and promote. It absolves them of responsibility for the pandemics. It makes people who are obese or diabetic think that all they have to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more. That’s unscientific nonsense.

      Most of the “food gospel” I see comes from doctors and dietitians – and chefs – keen to maintain conventional nutrition “wisdom” status quo. They have been feeding people who trust them the wrong information for decades. They continue to do so. They still tell people who are overweight or diabetic that they must eat carbohydrate foods; that they must “make starchy foods the basis of most meals”; that unrefined carbohydrates are fine as long as they eat them “moderately”. That, as British GP Dr David Unwin has famously said, just leaves people with diabetes “moderately poisoned”. It’s as if these doctors and dietitians really don’t know that all carbohydrates, refined or unrefined, turn to glucose in the bloodstream.

      Most sick, overweight people with diabetes I’ve ever met would much rather not risk all the complications – heart disease, blindness, limp amputation, etc – that come with their conditions. Given the right information from people they trust, they would happily improve their health quickly, cheaply and without having to resort to expensive drugs that have serious side effects. Many are doing just that.

      Are you aware of what has happened to Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke in your country? He is one of those brave doctors who refuses to give nutrition advice to his patients that he knows could harm them. For his trouble, your country’s medical regulatory body, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency, has banned Dr Fettke for life from telling his diabetic patients not to eat sugar and other carbohydrates. Odd behaviour for the AHPRA, I’d say, especially when many other doctors give nutrition advice. What would you say?

      You say you could mention names of food “gospellers”, but won’t. Feel free on this website – if you have any scientific evidence against them, of course. I’m all for naming and shaming the many doctors and dietitians worldwide who go against ethics and give nutrition advice that is not evidence-based. Whether they do so by design or default is not clear. Either way, the effects on their patients’ health are usually devastating.

      By the way, are you the same Marina R who comments on the Facebook Paleo and LCHF hate page Blocked by Pete Evans? If so, you will doubtless have come across many real food gospellers dedicated to maintaining the status quo on that page!

      • It is very unfortunate that you have misinterpreted the essence my comments. It is quite disturbing that an objective perspective gives rise to such defensive rebuttal for the sake sensationalistic journalism. And yes, I am that person you have mentioned… and if you follow any of my participatory comments you would find that I remain “objective” in all forum contexts.

    • What utter rubbish!

      Probably unlike you I am old enough to remember a time BEFORE there were “epidemics” of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Curiously they started around the time “low fat” diets were invented and the population was press-ganged into eating Hearthealthywholegrains and avoiding Arterycloggingsaturatedfats.

      Increasing numbers of people, including a small number of doctors and an even smaller number of dieticians, are backing out of this corner. The number of researchers starting from the premise that low fat diets didn’t work and who are looking at why and what to do instead must now be in the hundreds. You will have no knowledge of what is hidden in plain sight on PubMed – and which actually works – unless you know to look, which starts from ignoring everything you have been told by The Authorities since the eighties or earlier.

  3. No one including me is debating whether LCHF serves the population. What I am debating is the intentional cultish way in which this practice is forcing itself upon everyone as something new and revolutionary and also the rigid confines created by ‘following’ such groups advocating the ideals in such a dogmatic way.
    Even Bernstein would surely say that many many years ago LCHF was a normal mainstream way of eating , irrespective of diabetes or not. And that T1D was managed with restricted eating which was essentially LCFF. It’s nothing new.
    Let it be a reminder that it is only modern eating lifestyles that have steered people into some illnesses and it is only the wayward people that are needed to be steered back on track. Why do people need to hang onto the premises of someone’s preaching when it is simply common sense.
    Why have people not taken accountability for their decisions, their own mistakes and meanderings.
    In our case, we have been ‘clean’ eating since forever, since 50 years ago. We are vegetarian/vegan and we have followed nutrient-based LCHF leniency forever also…
    I have found ways of managing my child’s T1D following my own empirically evolved regime.
    The knowledge of feeding T1D does not only concern itself with isolated nutrients and carb values. Understanding the process of cooking, the blending and combining of nutrients plays a huge role as well.
    Being a non-flesh eater does actually cause ripples in the Bernstein’s community .

    • Being a non-flesh eater does not “cause ripples” in Bernstein’s community. Not sure where you get this idea. There are a number of vegans and vegetarians in the group. Vegan or Vegetarian eating would be a challenge for most, but it’s perfectly feasible if you know what you are doing, which you obviously do. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be supported.
      Dr Stapleton isn’t trying to make this a cult or suggest it’s something new. People with type 1 diabetes who eat as per the “recommended guidelines” have all sorts of complications. It’s not people eating LCHF or variants of it that are making it seem like a cult following; it’s the “outsiders'” perspective.
      If you have suggestions on how to make this seem “normal” that involve methods beyond people sharing personal experiences in the hope to normalise this way of eating, then do share it or implement it. The more people who see this as the way we used to eat rather than something new, the better – and that the way most people eat these days is atypical and causing so many health problems we see today.
      Vegan, Vegetarian, LCHF, LCHP, Keto, Paleo – any of these is better than the “recommended diet” of high-carb, low-fat. People are scared of fat, and until that changes then LCHF probably will likely be seen as a cult, as you say. Cut the carbs, and don’t be scared of fat, whether it’s from animal sources, or vegetable souces etc. People will then at least be on the right track.

    • I agree with you – I don’t understand the need for the cultish way that LCHF is being introduced. The knocking of other organizations – the knocking of science and research. The suggestion that it’s the only way … many people with diabetes have no complications and it’s rare to see a person with an amputation or stroke at diabetes clinic unlike 20-30 years ago. (When in actual fact there ‘free food’ list included high fat meats and cheese). I follow a reasonable LCHF diet – but do limit my fat as my cholesterol goes through the roof without even trying. People can be empowered to choose what works for them. A young person with long term type 1 diabetes who already has gastroparesis or the child whose body does not store glycogen well may need alternatives. Let’s just talk about LCHF without the need to knock every institution and suggest multiple conspiracy theories!

      • Best you ask orthopaedic surgeons such as Dr Gary Fettke in Australia who have to amputate limbs for comment here. Or nephrologists such as Canadian Dr Jason Fung who deals with obese and diabetic patients daily. IMHO, it’s not a numbers game. No one should have to lose limbs or die prematurely when simple dietary change increase their chances of keeping limbs and staying alive. I’ve interviewed many top LCHF experts internationally. Haven’t met one yet who says it’s the only way. They say it’s an evidence-based option for seriously ill people. Particularly those who are obese, overweight, diabetic, have cardiovascular disease and who have been eating high-carb (or higher-carb), low-fat, including low-sat-fat diets.

        I haven’t seen any evidence of cult in the introduction of LCHF. It isn’t even new. The only real cult I’ve come across so far is the one-size-fits-all high-carb, low-fat (particularly low-sat-fat) diet that some doctors push. They stick to it with religious, messianic fervour despite evidence to the contrary. Even when faced with the results after decades of dispensing it:spiraling pandemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The cognitive dissonance is simply staggering. They indulge in witch- and wizard-hunts against dissenters.

        Of course, people should be free to choose. However, that freedom counts for little without information to make those choices freely. People have a right to information in order to make informed choices. The only time I hear talk of cult is when doctors and dietitians advise LCHF as an option for sick people. All they are doing is practising evidence-based. That’s very different from a cult.

        Any expert worth his/her medical or scientific salt would call out institutions/doctors/dietitians who deprive people of access to information and who deprive people of these rights, whether by default or design. The power of vested interests in food and drug companies and the doctors and dietitians in their pay and thrall is unfortunately not conspiracy theory. It’s fact. It isn’t difficult to find it. Its effects on public health are a true and ongoing scandal.

  4. Great presentation. I agree wholeheartedly and although I am not diabetic, I follow a low carb diet because it helps me to eat healthier and keep ky weight down. As an added bonus, it prevents overeating because low carb eating it a natural appetite curb. The more carbs you eat, the more you want to eat and that is what leads to obesity. I totally agree that it’s Big Pharma companies and food manufacturers that want to keep us dependent on medications and junk food for their profit, eating low carb is so much healthier for you if you make good choices. Thank you Dr Stapleton for the great information.

  5. What’s WITH Australia? Are they determined to become the fattest and most diabetic nation on earth? “Hey we can beat the US at something!”

  6. I’m a type 1 diabetic doing low carb for nearly 2 years. It has revolutionised my life after 42 years of diabetes. I also believe it is the best way of eating for type 1s. It gets you off the roller coaster.

  7. This lecture did not present much new light on what has already been known over the last five years both theoretically or nutritional management practice.
    It is a Shame that it is modern technology that is not supporting this stream of thinking and practice..
    I am finding that in general many people use the modern technology of…. ‘dose to carb’ approach as an easier way to maintain steady BGLs….
    Most technology today supports increased insulin usage through carb/insulin dosage and ‘correction’ therapy.
    I believe that it is this arena that should be more of a focus of discussion and scrutiny in order to increase a better awareness of the illness effects itself.
    The lecture is also presented from the perspective of a relatively newly adult dx T1D… and somewhat contextualised to only ONE individual’s personal lifestyle pattern and routine.
    The developing child T1D, the vegetarian/vegan T1D, and the sedentary T1D, would not necessarily fit into the model presented by Dr Troy Stapleton.
    There is so much more to be explored, embraced and holistically discussed in this area of research.

    • I think if you read more widely on what Dr Troy Stapleton has to say, you will find that it is much more than one person’s experience. My understanding from listening to this video is that it is also not just about one man’s experience. Of course, you can look at it as little more than anecdotal evidence. Many doctors and dietitians still dismiss anecdote out of hand. However, the reality, as Prof Tim Noakes says, is that all of science begins with anecdote. And of course, he isn’t saying he has all the answers. There is no reason that what he says would not apply to vegetarians and especially sedentary type 1 diabetics. I don’t know enough about veganism to have an opinion on that.

      In my opinion, Dr Stapleton is talking from an extensive, medically informed and properly holistic basis on best practice to treat type 1 diabetes. Who wouldn’t want their children – or themselves – to be able to reduce dependency on drugs that have serious side effects? To me, it’s a no-brainer, but again that’s just IMHO. I always remember what British GP Dr David Unwin said in one of his talks: telling a diabetic – type 1 or 2 – to eat carbohydrates moderately just leaves them moderately poisoned. Why would any doctor or dietitian want to do that?

      • Dr David Unwin is right, but he’s no use to pharma or junk-carb producers.

        Anecodotes are case studies for those with an open mind.

        Well done, Troy Stapleton. I hope the Australian Inquisition, otherwise known as dietitians, leave you in peace. The DAA must be in an Olympic stupidity competition with its South African equivalent. Or perhaps the competion is simply to please sponsors?

    • What’s to discuss? Low carb works to reverse the effects of T2D (at very least) and that is now accepted by everyone who is up to speed with current thinking. These demands for more discussion merely slows down the rate at which more metabolically challenged people could benefit. Actually, there is nothing to discuss unless you work for big sugar, big food or big pharma.

    • The discussion on the developing child T1D, etc was touched on my him, and is also proven to work as per the TypeOneGrit facebook group which he mentions, who follow Dr Bernsteins Diabetes Solution practices, which is a low carb diet essentially, along with so many tips and routines proven to work for diabetic kids and adults alike. There are over 2000 members in the group, of which I am one. Its made up of Type 1’s, some Type 2’s, Parents of Type 1 kids etc. I am Type 1 myself. It works, its proven, there is nothing to question about it. Dr Bernstein himself has had Type 1 since his early teens and is now 82, he pioneered the Basal/Bolus regiment, as well as portable blood glucose monitoring, and is the guru when it comes to Diabetes (both type 1 and 2). Its sad how its taking counties so long to catch on to things which have been known for so long. Troys speech just emphasises this, he wasn’t presenting to showcase anything new.
      So the model which Troy Stapleton presents IS proven for all ages and duration since diagnosis. Check out Dr Bernsteins Diabetes University on Youtube, and see how many topics he has covered. Listed to his first video, about himself and why he is qualified to be saying this stuff, and you will see.
      It works, on kids and adults alike. Fact.

    • This comment is wrong. The high-protein, low-carb diet – meat and veg – championed by Bernstein is perfectly suited to developing children. A few facts: we know that children who follow the standard high-carb guidelines suffer from blood sugars on average triple normal – A1c of about 8% – and have both stunted growth and brain development. These facts are well documented in the ADA journals. Moreover, vegetarian and sedentary T1Ds – as well as children – are paret of the group that comprises the Duke University research detailed by Troy Stapleton. As far as technology solution to loading up and carb and insulin, there has been no progress made in this direction – A1cs remain high among T1Ds and diabetic complications are on the rise.

      While the standard carb counting methods have been shown to reduce A1c by a few tenths of a percent, the low-carb method has been shown to reduce A1c about 3% – down to roughly normal. We can look to the nondiabetic population for a glimpse of what carbo diets offer – skyrocketing child obestity, T2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (even in children). We have to face facts: carbohydrate quickly turns into glucose in the body, spikes diabetic blood sugars and causes diabetic complications and a certain amount of agony in both T1d children and adults. There is no other way out besides carbohydrate restriction. Do not cast children into a fate of misery – a future of blindness, cardiovascular disease, shortened lifespan and day-to-day agony. Read Dr Bernstein’s book Diabetes Solution.

      • Succinctly put, and on the scientific button! Thank you for this input. It never ceases to amaze me how some people continue to support the nutrition status quo for people who have diabetes, including children with type 1 diabetes, no matter what evidence is before their very eyes. The cognitive dissonance is so pervasive it’s close to criminal, IMHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.