By Sherry L. Granader, CNC
At its core, diabetes is a disease of intolerance to carbohydrates. Eating a low-carbohydrate diet is an effective way to reduce high blood sugar and help prevent cardiovascular disease in those dealing with diabetes.
High blood sugar can be caused by a high intake of processed carbohydrates and therefore, reducing carbohydrate intake is the most effective way to decrease blood glucose levels on a consistent basis.
It turns out that an increase in caloric intake is primarily due to an increase in carbohydrates when it comes to type 2 diabetes and obesity. However, the benefit of restricting carbohydrates goes far beyond weight loss alone. Replacing carbohydrates with high quality protein is generally beneficial to those with diabetes. Plus, the increase of good fats such as those found in nuts, avocado and olive oil does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and keeps you full longer.
The best predictor of cardiovascular disease in people with Type 2 diabetes is glycemic control. Eating a low-carbohydrate diet is the most effective way to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce serum triglycerides. The good news is when people with Type 2 diabetes eat a low-carbohydrate diet, they frequently reduce or eliminate their medication or require less insulin. Eating a low-carbohydrate diet does not have any side effects compared to prescription medications that often do.
The ‘low-fat’ mentality of yesterday does not work, especially for those dealing with diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease and we should not hold onto an eating plan that does not work. Eating too many carbohydrates makes it more difficult to find an appropriate dose of insulin. Those with Type 2 diabetes are capable of producing insulin but the body does not respond sufficiently. This is known as insulin resistance with a deterioration of functioning of the pancreas. In other words, the pancreas cannot keep up with the demands by the body for insulin.
Low-carbohydrate eating plans work well for those with diabetes. Many find they no longer need drugs or even have symptoms. Blood glucose levels become normal and successful weight loss is achieved. Millions of Americans have pre-diabetes, diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome. Converting to a low-carbohydrate diet will go a long way in improving, reversing and preventing all of the above.
If you are on insulin or taking medication, it is important to check with your physician, registered dietician or nutritionist for guidance, as insulin doses may need to be adjusted to avoid low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia. The best way to lower blood sugar and insulin levels is to reduce your consumption of carbohydrate. It is a very effective way to treat and perhaps reverse Type 2 diabetes.
Learning to eat a low-carbohydrate diet does not have to be complicated or confusing. In fact, many people notice how much better they feel simply by eliminating highly processed foods. Frankly, if a food product has more than 5 ingredients and an expiration date, you probably do NOT want to eat it, whether you have diabetes or not. It is actually quite easy to eat a low-carbohydrate diet whether you are at home, in a restaurant or traveling. Living with diabetes does not have to mean feeling deprived. You can still enjoy amazing meals and snacks with healthy food choices that are low in carbohydrate and will keep you full and satisfied.
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.