Another Reason to Follow the Low Carb Diet… Your Blood Sugar!

January 19, 2009

Go to fullsize imageFinally a study that looked at the practice of using low carbohydarte diet for our diabetics in helping control their blood glucoses was recently published in Nutrition and Metabolism journal.  Everytime I give a lecture on Nutritional therapy the question of my practice in lowering the total carbohydrate content of the calorie intake is the central issue.  This study is one proof that the concept of limiting the carbs can do wonders to ones blood sugar!

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Objective

Dietary carbohydrate is the major determinant of postprandial glucose levels, and several clinical studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets improve glycemic control. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a diet lower in carbohydrate would lead to greater improvement in glycemic control over a 24-week period in patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Research design and methods: Eighty-four community volunteers with obesity and type 2 diabetes were randomized to either a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (<20 g of carbohydrate daily; LCKD) or a low-glycemic, reduced-calorie diet (500 kcal/day deficit from weight maintenance diet; LGID). Both groups received group meetings, nutritional supplementation, and an exercise recommendation. The main outcome was glycemic control, measured by hemoglobin A1c.

Results

Forty-nine (58.3%) participants completed the study. Both interventions led to improvements in hemoglobin A1c, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and weight loss. The LCKD group had greater improvements in hemoglobin A1c (-1.5% vs. -0.5%, p=0.03), body weight (-11.1 kg vs. -6.9 kg, p=0.008), and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (+5.6 mg/dL vs. 0 mg/dL, p<0.001) compared to the LGID group. Diabetes medications were reduced or eliminated in 95.2% of LCKD vs. 62% of LGID participants (p<0.01).

Conclusions

Dietary modification led to improvements in glycemic control and medication reduction/elimination in motivated volunteers with type 2 diabetes. The diet lower in carbohydrate led to greater improvements in glycemic control, and more frequent medication reduction/elimination than the low glycemic index diet. Lifestyle modification using low carbohydrate interventions is effective for improving and reversing type 2 diabetes.

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What is amazing of the results is that by following a low carb diet, diabetes medications were reduced or eliminated in 95 percent and likewise resulted in a greater weight loss.  We also know that by losing weight, patient becomes more insulin sensitive and therefore contributes further to improvements in metabolic profile. These are the two effects that we like whether we employ diet or medication to any patient we assessed to have a disease of the lifestyle. 

Is this nutritional therapy easy to do? 

Definitely not BUT its the determination to succeed and be treated without medication that can drive our patients to follow the regimen.  Just like any regimen involving FOOD… our vigilance to do what is healthy is more important than following our DESIRE to love food and EAT more!

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9 Responses to “Another Reason to Follow the Low Carb Diet… Your Blood Sugar!”

  1. maxim Says:

    The challenge of having low carb diet is the intense hunger that usually happens. Because of this, one sometimes binges on snacks to alleviate the hunger pangs. How can we manage this Doctor?

    • Doc Gerry Says:

      I am not really a fan of NO Carb but I may think a low carb diet as a good option or compormise. Meaning…you dont need 1 cup of rice to really make one feel full. I take less than that NOT becuase I am following a low carb diet BUT becuase I am following the priniciple of “once I feel full…I stop”. In retropect it is using a low carb diet but it is actually small protions of all foods not only carbs. If one feels hungry in between then go for the low glycemic index fruits like guava or tambis…thats what I do and it works!

  2. Rich Persoff Says:

    Thanks for the lead. Here’s another published reference:
    Arguments In Favor Of Ketogenic Diets
    Joaquín Pérez-Guisado. It is very well researched, and carefully considers negative findings and confounding factors. As the author points out, his analysis is contrary to ‘conventional wisdom’.

    To control my pre-diabetes, lose weight, help my heart, and relieve my rheumatoid arthritis I have changed my own food consumption in agreement with Dr. Perez-Guisado’s findings — e.g., minimal carbohydrate (even ‘high-fiber’ and fruit), enough protein, lots of vegetables, and increased amounts of olive oil. I feel fine, have lost about five pounds, and find my appetite has decreased, with no perceptible negative effects on strength, energy, or alertness. I did move into it slowly — increasing vegetables and reducing milk products and starches over several weeks, and have avoided appetite stress. Soon I will ask my physician to have a panel of blood tests run to see what physiological effects are actually occurring.

  3. Stacey Says:

    There are some wonderful diet guidelines and great recipes for diabetics at http://www.lowglycemicrecipes.net. They list carb amount, calories, fat, fiber content, Glycemic Index (GI), Glyco Load (GL). I haven’t seen any other sites that offer the GI and GL together in their recipes. Good site if you’re looking for new ideas and good info.


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  7. komal Says:

    Hello,

    It is helpful post for me and all the peoples who face it.In this post you share about health rules with some Objective, Results and conclusions which help us.


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