Māori doctor says less carbs, more fats to combat diabetes

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

November is NZ Diabetes Action month and Dr Lily Fraser is on a mission to help change Māori attitudes towards nutrition as a means to combat this debilitating disease.

The Ministry of Health considers diabetes to be the "largest and fastest growing health issue we face in New Zealand".

Dr Fraser is a GP and clinical director at Turuki Health Care, a Māori provider in South Auckland's Mangere. 

She is the first person from a Kura Kaupapa Māori education background to graduate from Medical School.  

When it comes to diabetes, Dr Lily Fraser says there's a need to significantly reduce carbohydrate intake.

"Those are the foods that turn into sugar so if you consume those foods they enter your blood and turn into sugar."

In addition, she encourages a diet high in fats and believes Māori knew of its benefits.

"Kererū was one of the fine delicacies of Māori, same with Muttonbird."

Dr Fraser says a high fat diet is creating positive results for her patients.

"They've finished using medicine and insulin, they've dropped weight, they're healthy, happy, exercising and working with their families."

November 14 is World Diabetes Day.