Eighty-five percent of type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. Overweight either causes or aggravates many cases of diabetes.
For the last quarter-century, many U.S. government agencies and healthcare organizations have advocated a low-fat diet for overweight people, including type 2 diabetics. Recent studies have documented that low-carbohydrate diets can also be effective in weight loss. Low-carb diets replace carbohydrates with either fats or proteins, or both. The A to Z Weight Loss Study compared the Atkins, Ornish, LEARN, and Zone diets in 311 overweight pre-menopausal women. The Atkins group tended to lose a bit more weight. Changes in lipid profiles, waist-hip ratios, fasting insulin and glucose levels, blood pressure, and percentage of body fat were comparable or better with Atkins versus the other diets.
The Amerian Diabetes Association now gives the go-ahead for use of low-carb diets as a weight-control method for type 2 diabetics. Previously, the organization had recommended against diets that restrict carbohydrates to less than 130 grams daily. (A baked potatoe without the skin has 30 grams.) Understand that the ADA does not endorse low-carb diets for weight loss or diabetes management. They simply say that either low-carb or low-fat calorie-restricted diets might be effective for up to one year.
I caution you that low-carb diets may be deficient in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients that may be very beneficial in terms of long-term health and longevity.
The tide has been turning against low-fat diets for the last six years.
Steve Parker, M.D.