Colette's Blog

Diabetes? Why a Low-Carb Diet is Your Best Option

November 25, 2014

Once again, there’s great news supporting a low-carb diet’s role in the fight against diabetes. A group of 26 physicians and nutrition researchers, in a review paper submitted to the journal Nutrition, listed 12 reasons, backed by clinical studies, why a low-carb diet is beneficial for managing Type-2 diabetes.

They include:
• High blood sugar is the most important feature of diabetes control. Decreasing carbohydrate intake has the greatest effect on blood sugar levels.
• Increase in calorie intake and obesity has been driven by increases in carbohydrate intake.
• Carbohydrate restriction provides benefits regardless of weight loss.
• Carb restriction is the most reliable dietary intervention for weight loss.
• Adherence to low-carb diets in Type-2 diabetes is as strong as other dietary interventions, and is often significantly stronger.
• Generally, replacing carbs with protein is beneficial.
• Increased total fat and saturated fat intake are not associated with increased heart disease risk.
• Carbohydrates—not dietary fats—control triglyceride levels.
• HbA1c—also known as glycated hemoglobin, and an indicator of blood sugar levels—is the greatest predictor of microvascular and macrovascular complications in patients with Type-2 diabetes.
• Lowering carb intake is the most effective method for decreasing triglyceride levels and raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
• Patients with diabetes reduce their dependence on, or doses of, medication when following a low-carb diet.
• Intensive blood glucose reduction though carb restriction has negligible side effects compared with the use of medication for the same effect.

Diabetes is a disease involving the inability to process carbohydrates, therefore reducing carbohydrates would seem to be an obvious treatment, leading to the authors’ conclusion that the current recommendations of using a low-fat diet to control or manage diabetes need to be reevaluated—and more and more research shows that low-fat diets are failing to improve obesity, heart disease risk or even general health. Do you see the pattern here? More and more research continues to validate the fact that a low-carb diet is quite effective (and sustainable) when it comes to managing diabetes and a variety of other disease risk factors. 

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