Managing Diabetes and Your Diet: The Low Carb Dispute

Several years ago I began looking at the evidence for different diets, seeing which ones best controlled diabetes, if any at all.

I looked at…

The South Beach Diet

The Ketogenic Diet

The Eating For Your Blood Type Diet

The Fast Metabolism Diet (this is a new book I just read)

To say the least, the evidence was WEAK and I knew I needed to dig deeper or experiment myself. The only puzzle piece I know seemed to help people with diabetes is weight loss – and for weight loss, there is no magic pill.

If you follow any diet consistently – you will lose weight.

But as a Dietitian, I find that people continually seek out diet advice. Specifically, a low carbohydrate diet, such as the ‘Atkins Diet’ which is most commonly prescribed by their doctors.

“Cut out bread, rice, potatoes and pasta but you can eat unlimited amounts of red meat, bacon, sausage, cheese and butter…”  — this is a Dietitian’s nightmare and, frankly, not sustainable or heart healthy.

To please my curious brain I actually experimented with this theory – low carb and high fat will help you lose weight and control your blood sugar. Initially, I lost a few pounds in the first couple of weeks but I felt sluggish and foggy. It’s a feeling I never want to go back to. Ever hear the term “meat sweats”? It’s essentially when you eat too much fatty meat and you start to sweat. Sadly, it’s a real thing.

If you research “low carbohydrate diets” you’ll often find mixed reviews and not even a consensus on the definition of a low-carbohydrate diet. It can be misleading and I find that people often manipulate this type of diet. I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat loads of bacon, sausage, or a nice ribeye soaked in butter?

Indeed, low carbs may result in lower blood sugar…

But higher fat intake may also increase your risk of heart disease – and heart disease is the number one killer for people with diabetes. Lower insulin levels does not necessarily translate into fewer heart attacks.

Regardless of whatever diet you choose to follow, the main goal is most likely weight loss by increasing your metabolism and finding something that you can be consistent with.

As of now, what we know matters the most for controlling diabetes, is weight loss and how much weight you lose.


Author: Katie

Hi! I'm Katie, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. This website it dedicated to those looking to heal their bodies from the inside out - and it all starts with balancing out your blood sugar. Let's heal disease together one plate at a time.

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