American Diabetes Month: More Reasons to Go Low Carb | Atkins

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American Diabetes Month: More Reasons to Go Low Carb

November 9, 2021

November is American Diabetes Month, so it’s the perfect time to talk about how a low carb lifestyle can help manage type-2 diabetes, improve glycemic control and promote overall good health.

Case in point: While almost 52 percent of adults in this country have diabetes or prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recognizes that nutrition is a powerful tool in managing prediabetes and diabetes, going as far as stating in their Standards of Medical Care that “Reducing overall carbohydrate intake for individuals with diabetes has demonstrated the most evidence for improving glycemia (blood sugar).”

According to the ADA, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in people living with diabetes and people with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease. But a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a low carb diet, even when saturated fat intake was high, may decrease your risk for heart disease without adversely affecting LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Research like this continues to support the science behind low carb diets. The average American eats between 200 grams and 300 grams of carbohydrates a day, but reducing your carb intake to less than 130 grams of carbs a day may have a positive effect on your metabolic health.

Very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet
Low-carbohydrate diet
Reduced-carbohydrate diets
<30g/day
30-50g/day
50-130g/day

This is excellent motivation to reduce your carbohydrate and sugar intake. Especially if you can swap foods high in sugar and low-quality carbs for foods rich in nutrients, such as high-fiber vegetables; low-glycemic fruits; protein sources such as poultry, red meat, seafood, fish, tofu, eggs; healthy fats coming from avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds; dairy and even some whole grains eventually. This way of eating can potentially have a meaningful effect on your blood sugar levels and is an option available for if you have type-2 diabetes or if you’d like to improve your overall health. 

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you don’t have to choose between your health goals and favorite holiday foods. With a little culinary creativity, it’s easy to enjoy festive treats without overloading on carbs and sugar. Keep reading my blogs this month for delicious, low carb holiday recipes and low carb swaps for traditional high carb dishes.

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