Should Carbohydrate Restriction Be the Default Diet for Diabetes?

Yes….according to a manifesto to be published soon in Nutrition. It may be published already since this post has been sitting in my draft stack for a while. The abstract:

The inability of current recommendations to control the epidemic of diabetes, the specific failure of the prevailing low-fat diets to improve obesity, cardiovascular risk or general health and the persistent reports of some serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetic medications, in combination with the continued success of low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome without significant side effects, point to the need for a reappraisal of dietary guidelines.

The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well-documented. Concerns about the efficacy and safety are long-term and conjectural rather than data-driven. Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, does not require weight loss (although is still best for weight loss) and leads to the reduction or elimination of medication and has never shown side effects comparable to those seen in many drugs.

Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash With Meat Sauce

Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash With Meat Sauce

The lead author is Richard Feinman. Others include Lynda Frassetto, Eric Westman, Jeff Volek, Richard Bernstein, Annika Dahlqvist, Ann Childers, and Jay Wortman, to name a few. Some of them disclose that they have accepted money from the Veronica and Robert C. Atkins Foundation. That doesn’t bother me. I’m familiar with most of the supporting literature they cite, having read it over the last decade. I agree with these guys wholeheartedly.

Read the whole enchilada.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: The linked article is preliminary and may undergo minor revision over the coming months.


Filed under Carbohydrate

5 responses to “Should Carbohydrate Restriction Be the Default Diet for Diabetes?

  1. The link is to the final version which has been out for a while. Dr. Parker is not the only one who missed it. The ADA missed it too but I will bring it to their attention.

  2. Nate

    Thank you and your partners, Dr. Feinman!! Totally enjoyed the article. It even touched on one my pet peeves, defining what a low carb diet is. But, the funniest part was the crossover requirement for the Smith and Pell randomized controlled parachute trial, lol.

    BTW, Amy Schumer has done some good jokes about carbs and weight gain. I think that once satirists get a hold of a bad idea, its doomed.

  3. Jim Jozwiak

    While we’re at it, Should Carbohydrate Restriction Be the Default Diet for Heart Disease? for GERD? for Arthritis? for Cancer? for Psychiatric Diagnoses? for Obesity?