Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic

Diabetes and Low Carb Diets

Diabetes occurs when a person’s body isn’t able to use sugars effectively causing a buildup of glucose in the blood. The hormone that produces insulin, therefore, doesn’t work correctly and the cells aren’t able to use the insulin the way they should. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 occurs when the body doesn’t produce any insulin; and type 2 occurs when either the body can’t produce enough insulin or the cells reject it completely. Most people that are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes  (roughly 90 percent).

With the increase in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the need for a suitable solution is higher than ever. And as the healthy trend continues, people are leaning less towards medications and more towards a natural way of controlling their diabetes. This is where low-carb diets come in and the debate about their effects on individuals with diabetes.

Does a low-carb diet work?
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) argues that a low-carb diet is too restricted and they recommend medications to keep their blood glucose level stable; however many studies have shown that a low-carb diet may be one of the best ways to manage diabetes and reduce the need for medications. Although the diet may be harder to stick to, most diabetics find that it is the only way they can keep their glucose levels stable. There is also evidence that suggest that a low-carb diet is helpful for diabetics in other ways including:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduction of blood glucose
  • Decrease in triglycerides
  • And other health benefits

Counting carbs
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to completely cut out your carbs, though. Instead, moderation is key and counting your carbs as you plan your meals is a good strategy to employ. Carbohydrate counting is extremely beneficial for diabetics because, although you should limit consumption of carb-heavy foods like bread, rice, starchy vegetables, grains, and fruit, you shouldn’t avoid them altogether because some of these foods contain vitamins.

Regardless of what is recommended, be it medicine or a low-carb diet, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle full of nutritious food and exercise. Diabetes can be a debilitating disease, but with some effort and dedication, you will be on your path to a happy, normal life where diabetes won’t hold you back. If you don't have diabetes but think you may be experiencing symptoms, you can see if you are at risk by researching the top risk factors for type 2 diabetes, or contact your doctor about your concerns. It's important to get a hold of the disease as early as possible, so your dreams of living a fulfilled life can be achieved.