• Dr. Kathleen Jones

The Connection Between Low Carb Diets and Diabetes Remission

Many health practitioners used to recommend a standard carb intake for the

majority of people, but more modern health research recognizes that

everyone’s carb needs are different based on their health goals, age, weight,

and activity level. Carbohydrates are often the number one focus when

discussing diabetes management because they increase glucose in the blood

at a higher rate than other food groups. Type 2 diabetes causes the body to

process carbohydrates less efficiently, elevating blood sugar levels and

requiring higher insulin production. If you are diabetic, or concerned about

developing diabetes, being intentional about both the quantity and the type of

carbs you consume can help your body break out of this cycle and can

increase the possibility of diabetes prevention and remission.


How does a low carb diet battle diabetes? Results from a recently-published

study by the British Medical Association showed that following a low carb diet

for six months improved insulin sensitivity, stabilized blood sugar levels,

reduced reliance on diabetes medication, and increased the likelihood of

achieving remission. The effectiveness of the low carb diets plateaued after

the six month mark, highlighting the difficulty of adhering to a diet long term.


If you’re considering a low carb diet to help manage diabetes, here are a few

things to keep in mind.


Make subtle dietary changes over a long period of time.


Our society often portrays restrictive diets as a cure-all for a wide array of

health issues, but a lot of the rhetoric surrounding dieting is harmful. Diets that

recommend cutting out entire food groups or drastically changing the way you

eat in a short period of time should be avoided. Slowly making dietary

changes that are sustainable for you over a long period of time is much better

for your health and your body.


Eat a variety of healthy foods.


Lean proteins: Fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, and eggs


Whole grains: Brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread


High-fiber vegetables: Broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, and green beans


Low-sugar fruits: Berries, peaches, cantaloupe, and watermelon


The general guideline for low carb diets is to limit or avoid highly processed

grains like white bread, starchy foods like potatoes, and sugary foods like

cookies and cakes.


Be mindful of vitamin deficiencies.


While low carb diets can work wonders for diabetes symptoms, they also carry

the risk of vitamin deficiency. Be mindful of your vitamin intake through the

foods you eat and consider supplementing as needed to avoid the negative

effects of vitamin deficiencies.


Work with a health practitioner you trust.


When you’re making health decisions, it’s important to know you can trust

your provider. A big part of what I do as a naturopathic doctor is seeing my

patients as a whole person (not just a set of symptoms) and taking the time to

help them reach their health goals through dietary changes and appropriate

supplements. If you’re looking for a more natural approach to managing

diabetes or other health conditions, get in touch today to set up a consultation.




Sources


BMJ. 2021. Efficacy and safety of low and very low carbohydrate diets for type

2 diabetes remission. British Medical Journal.

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.m4743


Ries, Julia. 2021. Low Carb Diet May Help People with Type 2 Diabetes Go

Into Remission. Healthline.

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/low-carb-diet-may-help-people-with-ty

pe-2-diabetes-go-into-remission#Work-with-a-doctor-who-can-customize-an-e

ating-plan


Various authors. 2020. Understanding Carbs. American Diabetes Association.

https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-carbs


Villines, Zawn. 2019. A guide to low-carb diets for diabetes. Medical News

Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325195

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