September 16


054: Dr Ruth Tapsell – Devon’s Real Food GP

September 16, 2021

Carnivore, Diabetes, Diet, Fasting, Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Keto, Ketogenic Diet, LCHF, Lifestyle, Low Carb, Nutrition, Podcasts, Real Food, Well Being

Dr Ruth Tapsell

 Ruth is a GP in North Devon in the southwest of England. Three years ago she came across Dr David Unwin who was using lower carbohydrate diets to achieve outstanding outcomes in his patients with Type 2 Diabetes. So having tried unsuccessfully over many years to help her patients using the mainstream approach, Ruth and her team decided to offer the lower carb approach instead. Since then, they have been seeing some remarkable outcomes with many patients putting their Type 2 Diabetes into remission, losing excess weight, coming off many of their medications and benefiting from a host of additional benefits, including resolution of sleep apnoea and IBS.  

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into focus the alarmingly high prevalence of poor metabolic health. The tragic collision of these 2 pandemics motivated Ruth to spread the word to other health professionals that metabolic health can improve significantly within weeks, and that this may help to improve an individual's outcome from Covid-19.  

To reach out to health professionals across the UK and beyond, Ruth has been delivering a series of free, unsponsored educational webinars, with her co-host, Midlands-based practice nurse Gayle Gerry.  Ruth and Gayle have welcomed a terrific selection of speakers from a range of medical specialities who feel similarly passionate about sharing this good practice with other health professionals. Hopefully, as the community of low carb practitioners continues to grow, this will lead to many more patients being offered this highly effective approach and becoming empowered to regain control of their metabolic health. 

Dr Ruth Tapsell acknowledges that her medical school education did not cover nutrition or sleep. Even with Diabetes and Endocrinology training, it didn’t make sense that her patients were eating carbohydrate-laden food and covering it with insulin. She thought that if eating a certain way causes diabetes then by changing the way we eat it, it might be possible to reverse Type 2 Diabetes or prevent it. She didn’t discover using therapeutic carbohydrate restriction as a way to manage type 2 diabetes until three years ago.  It was her husband, also a GP, who came across an article from Dr David Unwin in a medical magazine.  They have started using this approach in their general practice.  Dr Ruth now runs local groups for patients and webinars for health care professionals to get the word out and educate others on the use of low carb / real food way to manage their health and wellbeing. Dr Ruth featured in an article in the Daily Mail highlighting the work she is doing in helping her patients halt and reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

She talks about her general practice in being a low prescribing practice and the challenges of getting others within the NHS to get on board with these life changing practices. One of Dr Ruth’s dreams is that Hartland in Devon becomes a Blue Zone, where everyone lives to 120.

We talk about raising teenagers and how difficult it is in school with the food on offer and with their peers.

If you are looking for the show notes on Apple Podcast please click through to the episode web page as they are not showing on Apple at the moment.

Dr Ruth's Top Tips 

  1. If you are on any medication, speak to your doctor before starting on low carb or keto
  2. Do it gently, cut out processed food - especially seed oils and sugar
  3. Be kind to yourself and keep an open mind 

Resources Mentioned

The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet: Lose weight fast and reprogramme your body:

Lose weight and reprogramme your body - Dr Michael Mosley

Daily Mail article

Lily Nicholls

Open Prescribing

Grow, share, cook project an example of local community food groups: 

Pots and pans swapping 

BJGP article

Quotes by Dr Ruth Tapsell

I'm a little bit ashamed to say that I've only been doing this, which is very effective, for the last three and a bit years

“All the way through medical school, you know, we were taught all sorts of stuff about anatomy and physiology and biochemistry, but there was absolutely nothing on nutrition that I could remember, nothing on sleep either.”

“I was seeing these patients who were very overweight and clearly insulin resistant in the clinic and the oral medication hadn't been holding it.  So they're started on insulin. And to me, it just didn't make any sense, because I knew that insulin was going to make them hungry and going to make them put on weight.”

If type two diabetes is a condition that we get ourselves into by eating a certain way, then surely by reversing that pattern of eating, we might be able to reverse for type two diabetes.

Ever since then we just see success stories every week, which previously we just didn't see before.

“I've learnt so much from expert patients.”

“I really needed to urgently tell doctors and nurses and anyone that would listen, that actually carb-restriction is going to potentially save their lives when they encounter COVID.”

"I see an awful lot of unhealthy vegans."

Connect with Dr Ruth Tapsell on social media


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054: Dr Ruth Tapsell - Devon’s Real Food GP

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  • What a brilliant interview. Thank you for all your efforts. I’m a LADA type diabetic and very well controlled using a very low carb approach. I also counsel others that want advice. My journey of health improvement started 7 years ago. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 20 years ago and thought there was no hope. I live in Malaysia and we have a huge variety of food that really is not optimal for diabetics. I cook most days.

    • You might also like episodes 115 and 124 with Dr Ian Lake who is also a LADA type 1 diabetic. Also Hanna Boethius episodes 003 and 051 is a Type 1 Diabetic.

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