Low Carb Ketogenic and Paleo Diets Beat Drugs for Diabetes

Low Carb Ketogenic and Paleo Diets Beat Drugs for Diabetes Low-carb diets beat drugs for managing diabetes, say experts.
Low-carb diets beat drugs for managing diabetes, say experts.
Low-carb diets beat drugs for managing diabetes, say experts.

A panel of 24 respected medical experts say a low-carb diet should be the first line of defense for treating diabetes, according to a report published in Nutrition.

Scientists said low-carb diets such as the Paleo, ketogenic and Atkins plans can even eliminate the need for diabetes drugs because they work immediately to reduce high blood sugar.

The study co-authors included Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Duke University Obesity Clinic, Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State University, cancer researcher Dr. Eugene Fine, and Dr. Ann Childers, a specialist in pediatric psychiatry and nutrition.

Low-Carb Diets Stem Blood Sugar Spikes

After analyzing data from a cross-section of studies, these experts concluded a low-carb diet is the best treatment for diabetes because it has proven effective in reducing pro-inflammatory blood-sugar spikes without the unpleasant side effects most drugs have.

“The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well-documented,” wrote Dr. Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity.

The researchers said a low-carb diet was beneficial for diabetics even if they don’t lose weight.

“Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, does not require weight loss and leads to the reduction or elimination of medication, and has never shown side effects comparable to those seen in many drugs,” added Dr. Westman, author of New Atkins for a New You.

Dr. Jeff Volek, a registered dietitian and co-author of the study, agrees. By drastically reducing carbs and replacing them with unprocessed fats, you can experience stable blood sugar and prevent degenerative illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, Volek told me.

“Carbohydrate restriction is the proverbial ‘silver bullet’ for managing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes,” said Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living.

Because dietary fat has a negligible impact on insulin, eating it doesn’t produce surges in our blood glucose and blood insulin the way ingesting carbs does, he said. Reducing blood-sugar spikes is critical for diabetics.

Low-Carb Diets Aid Weight Loss, Epilepsy and Cancer

The health benefits of low-carb, high-fat diets such as the Paleo, ketogenic and Atkins diets extend beyond diabetes management.

“Clinical trials have shown the [low-carb, high-fat] Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook.

LCHF diets like the ketogenic plan have also been shown to manage advanced metastatic cancer. “The ketogenic diet shows promise as a way to manage some cancers,” study co-author Dr. Fine told me.

Fine, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, echoed the sentiments of renowned cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried, whose decades of research suggest a ketogenic diet beats chemotherapy for almost all cancers.

A new study published in Epilepsy Today confirmed the efficacy of the ketogenic diet for preventing and reducing epilepsy-induced seizures among children.

Similarly, Time magazine — which has long embraced calorie-counting as the holy grail for weight loss — conceded that low-carb, high-fat diets like the Paleo, ketogenic or Atkins diets are better for weight loss than counting calories.

Dr. David Ludwig, a nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, said low-fat diets that emphasize calorie quantity over calorie quality have proven a dismal failure for long-term weight loss.

“Low-carb diets outperform a low-fat diet every time, and that wouldn’t be true if calories were the only measure that mattered,” said Ludwig.

This article was originally published on Examiner. Copyright©2016.

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