Archive for February 29th, 2008

Low Carb Diet and Diabetes: A Better Partner?

February 29, 2008

Go to fullsize imageDieatry intervention remains the cornerstone of therapy for Diabetes.  It requires education and self discipline for it to work!  It may be frustrating for doctors but if only we find time to explain the benefits and allow this intervention to work…it is really worth the effort.  My center now not only caters to diabetes education but has already 2 dieticians on board to see the dietary needs of my patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

I have been a proponent of the 40% carb and 40% fat diet for my diabetic patients. The fat however should be mainly monounstaurated which will give us the source of the good fat with less than 7% to 10% of the Saturated fat or the Bad fat!  I always emphasize the low fat sources or the vegetable sources of protein! 

This February 2008 comes a new study from the Harvard Medical Group of the longstanding Nurses Health Study that came up with the finding that indeed a Low Carb Diet may be the way to go for Diabetic patients.

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Design:  prospectively examined the association between low-carbohydrate-diet score (based on percentage of energy as carbohydrate, fat, and protein) and risk of diabetes among 85 059 women in the Nurses’ Health Study.

Results: During 20 y of follow-up, we documented 4670 cases of type 2 diabetes. 

  •  A higher dietary glycemic load was strongly associated with an increased risk of diabetes in a comparison of extreme deciles (RR: 2.47; 95% CI: 1.75, 3.47; P for trend < 0.0001)).
  • A higher carbohydrate consumption was also associated with an increased risk of diabetes in a comparison of extreme deciles (RR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.49; P for trend = 0.003).

Conclusion: These data suggest that diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in fat and protein do not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. In fact, diets rich in vegetable sources of fat and protein may modestly reduce the risk of diabetes.

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The term glycemic load refers to the capacity of a food to increase ones blood sugar upon ingestion.  As a result, I always emphasize to my patients to avoid some of the fruits with the highest glycemic index like pineapple, mangos, watermelon and banana and instead enjoy apple and pear.  The study proves that indeed the higher the glycemic load, the higher the risk to develop diabetes or for those with diabetes…the more difficult blood sugar control will be!

One more reason to go low Carb!  This recommendation looks similar to the Atkins Diet but with a better and healthier protein source with less saturated fat!

Finding a partner in life requires committment… similar to finding a partner in our quest for controlling blood sugar through proper lifestyle and the right diet AND should be made…. a way of life!

Indeed Low Carb Is The BETTER Partner for Health!