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Go Low Carb to Reverse Diabetes Signs and Symptoms

If a diet were proven to reduce weight, reduce the need for insulin or oral diabetes drugs, reduce diabetic symptoms and signs and promote healthy pancreas function, you'd probably be very interested in it.

If it also allowed you to eat some foods you thought you'd have to give up forever, and it also improved the health of your heart and lowered bad cholesterol while boosting the good stuff, you'd be extremely interested. Well, it really exists and it's simply a greatly reduced intake of carbohydrates.

In a study by Duke University Medical Centre researcher Dr. Eric Westmandiabetes medications were either reduced or completely eliminated in 95 percent of those following a low-carb "Atkins-style" diet and they lost 40 per-cent more weight than those on a restricted calorie diet.

Dr. Westman says his multiple studies all conclude that the answer to treating type 2 diabetes is "simple":

"If you cut out the carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes down, and you lose weight which lowers your blood sugar even further. It's a one-two punch."

Low carbohydrate eating* has been around for decades but as diabetes becomes epidemic in the developed world scientists are finding it to be one of the best ways to manage the disease and reverse symptoms. In fact, one even uses the "C" word -

"Many people are essentially cured of their type 2 diabetes by low-carbohydrate diets ..." Biochemistry professor Richard Feinman, PhD, of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

ButFeinman also says "the message is not getting out" and that'ssomethinglow-carb advocates have a hard time understanding.

Here's why: The reason a low-carb diet can help you lose weight and reverse signs and symptoms of diabetes type 2 is simply that the lower the amount of carbohydrate in your diet, the lower your blood sugar will be, and that reduces the amount of insulin you need. The effectiveness of the insulinyoudoproduce will be greatly increased.

High Carbs = High Blood Sugar

And by the same token

Low Carbs = Lower BloodSugar

Makes sense, doesn't it?Because you don't have excess amounts of carbohydrates turning to sugar, and then stored as fat, your blood sugar will decrease and existing fat in your body will be metabolized and ... the pounds really come off.

(High insulin levels are also linked to heart diseases and high blood pressure, so getting them down to proper levels is important.)

There are numerous other studies out there which show low carb eating to be a high-success strategy for type 2 diabetics and there's a massive number of testimonials from fellow diabetics on the various diabetes 2 forums on the web. So why aren't doctors and diabetes associations promoting this? No-one can really figure that out.

The main complaint seems to be that doctors and nutritionists don't believe people can stick with a diet that restricts things like potatoes, pasta, bread and rice. And it's not easy after a lifetime of eating those things. But it works and like any diet aimed at weight loss, once a healthy weight is reached it becomes more flexible.

Dr. Richard K. Bernstein isone of the world's foremost expertson diabetes and the author of two books on diabetes (Diabetes Type IIandDiabetes: The Glucograf Method for Normalizing Blood Sugar.) His private practice in Mamaroneck, New York is solely devoted to diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions.

He says:

""People on low-carbohydrate diets can consume more calories while losing the same amount of weight as those on simple restricted-calorie diets."

" As well, because the diet allows more protein and fats people eating a carbohydrate restricted diet feel full much longer.

One British doctor, Malcolm Kendrick, who encourages a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet for patients with diabetes, says there is now enough research showing the link between excess carbohydrates and diabetes that:

" The reality is that over the years, and around the world we have killed literally millions of diabetics by advising them to eat a high-carb diet and avoid fats... Only now is it being recognized that previous advice was and remains useless, dangerous and scientifically illiterate."

My own experience is that almost four years ago I was told by a doctor that I had high blood sugar and needed to lose weight. My bad cholesterol was also getting into the danger zone. I went on a restricted carbohydrate diet and lost about 30 pounds in three months. My blood sugar went down to normal, my good cholesterol (LDL) went up and my bad (HDL) went down and the doctor was very impressed.

Over the next three years I went back to my old habits, put all the weight back on, gained more when I quit smoking and became diabetic. I'm now exercising and keeping a sharp watch on my carb intake, and getting results. My blood sugar (most recent A1C test, a three month-average) is down to 6.3 and has come down almost two full points.

And this time I hope I've learned my lesson.

Low Carb Diabetes Food Lists

*Low carbohydrate diets - and any other healthy diet - make a distinction between simple and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbs are generally found in processed foods and are called "simple"becuse their chemical makeup is such that they turn to sugar (glucose) very quickly and cause a spike in blood sugar.

Because they are very high calorie, our bodies turn them to fat for storage. So there's two things you don't need - more fat and higher blood sugar. Some examples are chocolate bars, a doughnut, cake, ice cream etc. See the Diabetes Food Lists tabs at the top of this page for a list of things to avoid.

(Some foods like milk and fruits are also classed as simple carbs but a lot of it is common sense; -if you're watching your carbs, is it better to eat and apple or an Oh Henry? In the weight loss period of a low carb diet you may need to cut down on milk and fruits to get the best results but fresh fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and fiber, along with important nutrients that your body needs like calcium. They're an essential part of any healthy long-term, low-carb diet.)

Good Carbs: Complex carbohydrates are those that take the longest to digest, releasing sugar/energy - at a slow, steady rate that your blood and insulin can handle effectively. Think whole grains and vegetables like broccoli, corn, kidney beans, lentils and chick peas.

For breakfast, steel cut oatmeal is good and Captain Crunch is .... not.

Good and Bad Carbs get a closer look on the Diabetes Food List pages.

For more reading, do a web search for the research of Dr. Mary C. Gannon and Dr. Frank Q. Nuttall, both at the Minneapolis V.A.MedicalCenter and the University of Minnesota and the recent low-carb study done by Temple University researchers.

Also be sure to check the web forums and diabetes bulletin boards for first-person results with controlled carbs and diabetes symptoms.