NHS tests 850 calorie diet plan consisting of soup and shakes in a bid to beat diabetes
A strict diet plan of 850 calories a day is being tested by the NHS which contains low- calorie soups and shakes in a bid to help get rid of blood pressure tablets and reverse diabetes.
This is in response to a landmark medical study in which nearly a third of patients on soups and shakes reversed their type 2 diabetes and remained free of it two years on.
Researchers have also studied 143 volunteers following a 12 week diet and results have shown that this has significantly lowered blood pressure, most likely through weight loss.
Of the 69 patients taken off blood pressure tablets before starting the meal-replacement plan, two-thirds no longer needed the drugs at the end of it.
More than a quarter were still off the tablets two years later.
The researchers say the diet is safe and effective, as long as a GP monitors blood pressure and reintroduces the drugs if needed.
Co-author of the study, Professor Roy Taylor, of Newcastle University, said: “My patients, like so many, do not like swallowing multiple tablets, and this study is important as we can now reassure them that stopping blood pressure tablets is not only safe but also good for their health”.
“We’ve shown that, when substantial weight loss is achieved and maintained, patients can effectively manage both their blood pressure and type 2 diabetes without drugs.”
The staggering results of the diet in obese patients, some of whom cut their intake from 3,000 to 850 calories a day, led the NHS to announce a pilot in September.
Diabetes affects around 4 million Brits, 90% of which suffer from type 2 therefore doctors are set to introduce the plan to 5,000 patients across England in a bid to tackle this.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, said: “The pilot of low-calorie diets on the NHS is under way, with people across the country already benefiting from the diet, which has been shown to put type 2 diabetes into remission for those recently diagnosed”.
While this low calorie diet plan was intended to just target diabetes, researchers decided to see if it could help reduce high blood pressure which at the moment is a national crisis and increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Blood pressure fell significantly among the 143 volunteers following the 850 calorie a day soups and shake plan, from as early as week one for those who were not originally taking blood pressure medication.
For the 69 who came off blood pressure tablets, a significant change began at week 9. None saw a worrying spike in blood pressure from coming off their tablets. Of the 69, 23 had to restart some blood pressure medication during the diet.
Previous studies have found that if you lose weight, you will have better control over your blood pressure and no need for tablets.
Do you suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure?
If you do, consult your GP and get started today with our Meal Replacement Shake diet. Each serving of our Strawberries and Cream or Chocolate Deluxe shake is only 310 calories and you can combine this with one of our well balanced soup recipes.