There is a continuous debate over whether people with type 2 diabetes benefit from low carb diets. Naturally, the friends of the drug makers say no, but the low carb diet makers say yes. If you have diabetes or are predisposed to developing this disease then you had better decide now.
This is easy. There are two things (yeah, and even a third!) you need to bear in mind.
- Diabetes is not caused by carbohydrates, so don’t blame it on the carbs. Diabetes is the inability to metabolize carbs (glucose) properly.
- Fat intake, on the other hand, is a big part of the complex lifestyle conditions that cause type 2 diabetes.
- The drug industry does not want to die and the diet designers surely want to live – they strive for economic survival, and our financial patronage is their source of life.
Now, did you hear the ADA saying they don’t really disclaim the benefits of low carb diets? Yes, everyone admits that fewer carbs per meal will nean less carbohydrate to spike your blood glucose level after a meal.
Low carb cannot be long-term
Who wants to spend the rest of their lives on a low carb diet? Who can, anyway? No one. It’s a temporary solution. A kind of “quick fix.”
Even though proponents of the low carb diet say “many people are essentially cured of their type 2 diabetes by low carbohydrate diets,” the ADA refuses to endorse the low carb option. They say that they prefer to endorse a diet that people can live with long-term.
The benefits of a high fiber high carbohydrate diet has been shown in research repeatedly. If the type of carbohydrate is right, you can eat a whole lot without suffering the adverse effects. Refined or processed foods tend to elevate blood sugar levels quickly compared to high fiber content carbs.
Problem. Problem. Problem with low carbs
There is usually some problem with low carb diets, especially for diabetics. We know that dietary and body fats are a major culprit in the development of adult onset (type 2) diabetes. This has been shown in experiments by Dr. Anderson at the University of Kentucky. Healthy young men developed diabetic symptoms within two weeks on a high fat diet, whereas a control group on high sugar diet did not show a single symptom after eleven weeks in the experiment.
Given the popularity of the Western diet today the whole world is now more at risk for developing diabetes. You’ve got to be strong to resist what floats on the air from a fast food kitchen nowadays, especially if you spent most of your life eating that stuff. It’s tantalizing.
But diabetics who have this kind of strength have been able to come off their medication and insulin shots. It is nearly impossible to live the rest of your life on low carb food. Many of these diets have been shown to have too much fat and protein content, anyway.
Limiting your carbs means lessening your calorie intake. But your energy has got to come from somewhere. Given what we know about the effects of excess fat and excess protein metabolism, every diabetic (actually, everyone) would do better staying away from these low carb, high fat, high protein options.
It seems clear that the safest option in the long term is the most natural: a complex high carbohydrate, high fiber diet with regular (daily) exercise. It takes a lot of work, but it works.
And it works for a long, healthy, long time. Ask the Okinawans and other groups who don’t know what the word “retirement” means. I’ll watch the low carb debate, but I want to be around until the truth is clear – I will choose high fiber high carbohydrate foods and build muscle while the argument grows.