Jessica is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) with post-graduate qualifications in Nutrition & Dietetics. She is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Sydney investigating low-carbohydrate diets for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Jessica was introduced to low-carbohydrate, high-fat nutrition in 2012 during her recovery from multiple eating disorders which took over many years of her teenage life and adolescence. By following this simple and sustainable lifestyle which made complete sense on a physiological and biochemical level, she found what she likes to call “food freedom”. Her passion for this metabolic tool was then cemented after her father suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She shares more about her personal story during two interviews for the podcasts, ‘2 Keto Dudes’ and ‘Keto Woman’.
Jessica successfully completed her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Sydney in 2017 and was awarded the Faculty of Health Sciences Dean’s Scholar Award for her combined degree. Her Masters Research Project was to conduct a systematic review of all low-carbohydrate diets in the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus. This paper was recently published in the scientific journal, PLOS ONE, in March 2018.
Though diabetes management is one of her major areas of interest, Jessica is passionate about utilising the nutrition care process to investigate the role of diet in a wide range of health conditions and symptoms, including obesity, insulin resistance syndrome, hypertension, PCOS, dyslipidaemia, gastrointestinal issues, binge-eating disorders and much more. She writes extensively on various nutrition-related topics.
Jessica is also a passionate speaker and presented a talk titled, ‘Evidence-Based Practice: Low-Carbohydrate Nutrition in the Literature’ at Low Carb Nutrition Perth in March 2018. In May 2018, she presented a second talk titled, ‘Low-Carbohydrate Diets for Type 1 Diabetes’ at Low Carb Sydney. These events are held regularly at various locations across Australia by Low Carb Down Under and Jessica will also present at Low Carb Thredbo 2018 and Low Carb Gold Coast 2018.
Jessica is the founder of Ellipse Health and enjoys providing premium nutrition and dietetics services to individuals and groups all over Australia via phone, Skype and her creative online programs. Jessica collaborates with general practitioners, medical specialists and other allied health professionals to deliver the most effective dietetic interventions possible.
The Low-Carb Approach
When I was in Year 9 at High school, I became a victim of the toxic, low-fat / low-Calorie approach to dieting which spiraled into a fully blown eating disorder. Not only did I lost most of the fat on my body, I lost my friends, my happiness and my identity. We have known about the physiological consequences of starvation since the early 1940’s when Ancel Keys performed his semi-starvation experiments. Despite these experiments being deemed “unethical” in modern society, for some insane reason – we continue to perpetuate these exact low-Calorie, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets for optimal health and weight loss. I truly believe that it was the act of restricting my Calorie intake, predominantly from fat, that propelled me
into the negative, unstable mental state that I was stuck in for many years.
In 2012 I discovered low-carbohydrate, high-fat nutrition after learning about the fundamentals of human biochemistry and physiology during my first year at university. For me, this was a complete game-changer. Over the next 12-24 months, I completely ceased all binge-eating episodes, I significantly reduced my
anxiety and depression, I found my healthy weight and have been able to maintain it effortlessly, and most importantly, I found complete food freedom.
In late 2016 my father suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This cemented my passion for low-carbohydrate nutrition because it propelled me much deeper into the scientific literature. I spent most of my days researching the role of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets in the management of
major chronic diseases that are plaguing our modern society; obesity, the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and so many more.
It has been very difficult to fault low-carbohydrate nutrition, but there are still many areas of science that require further investigation. I will continue to evaluate existing research and contribute to the scientific literature in this area of nutrition for many years to come. My Doctorate of Philosophy Thesis involves an investigation into low-carbohydrate diets for type 1 diabetes mellitus because this is a particular
population whereby low-carb appears extremely promising, yet high-quality scientific trials are lacking.
At current, I work with a range of clinical populations in my private practice. The main benefits of using a low-carb approach are generally demonstrated in people that are affected by insulin resistance or hyperinsulinaemia (excessive insulin in the body). One of the best and most sustainable ways to lower insulin levels is to reduce total carbohydrate intake. However, it’s important to acknowledge that each
individual has a different “carbohydrate tolerance” which means that there is no one-size-fits-all level of carbohydrate intake where everyone will see benefit. That’s why it is extremely important to work with a qualified health professional who can help you design a safe and effective dietary intervention that is specific to you and your goals.