A study published in the journal Diabetologia found that low-carb diet can help lower blood sugar levels and liver fat content. The researchers from Germany said that this can benefit people with Type 2 diabetes even if the diet does not result in weight loss.
“Our study confirms the assumption that a diet with a reduced carbohydrate content can improve patients’ ability to regulate their blood sugar levels – without the patients concurrently losing weight,” said Dr. Thure Krarup, one of the authors of the study.
Low-carb diet lowers blood sugar level and liver fat
Previous studies have linked a low-carb diet to lower blood sugar levels, but many of them failed to consider weight loss as a confounding factor. This can lead to contradictory results and mixed interpretations.
In the current study, researchers looked at the effects of a low-carb diet with weight loss eliminated in the equation. They recruited 28 people with Type 2 diabetes and put them on a high-carb diet for six weeks and low-carb diet for another six weeks. The low-carb diet is high in protein and moderately high in fat. It also included carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index.
The team asked the participants not to lose weight during the course of the study. This way, they can better guarantee that the reduction in blood sugar level is due to changes in the diet rather than potentially improved insulin sensitivity. Experts say that weight loss helps improve insulin resistance.
The researchers found that after taking the low-carb diet, the participants reduced their blood sugar levels and improved long-term blood sugar. Furthermore, they also found that the low-carb diet reduced fat content in the liver. (Related: Natural Diabetes Health: Ten Tips for Living with Type 2 Diabetes.)
The researchers conclude that the diet may be beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes even if this diet does not lead to weight loss. In addition, by controlling for weight loss, they are able to establish a better link between low-carb diet and improved blood sugar level.
Another study found similar results. Researchers found that even if a person at risk of diabetes does not lose weight, he can still benefit from eating a low-carb diet. The participants of the study improved their blood sugar levels, increased fat-burning efficiency and decreased saturated fat in the bloodstream even though the low-carb diet contained more of the fat than the high-carb diet.
The quality of carb you consume matters
One important question, however, is how much – or how little – carbohydrates should a person consume, as current research has yet to provide a more scientific answer.
According to Jennifer Okemah, a registered dietitian specializing in diabetes prevention, some patients who hear the words “low-carb” would assume that it means a “no-carb” diet and that all carbohydrates are bad. However, she emphasizes that going on a no-carb diet is improbable and unsustainable. She also said that studies should do a better job when it comes to identifying what “low-carb” means. Low-carb does not equate to lower carbohydrate intake, and a lower carb intake needs a point of comparison.
The results of the current study are also not surprising, said Okemah. The low-carb diet meant cutting back on unhealthy carbohydrates, which will inevitably lead to favorable results by improving triglycerides – a type of fat made up of both excess glucose and excess fat in the bloodstream.
The brain also needs glucose, which is made by the body by converting carbohydrates. Restricting intake will thus result in important side effects on the rest of the body.
Instead, people should eat more quality carbohydrates and reduce highly processed foods such as sugary beverages. Leafy greens and organic foods are a healthy alternative, which Okemah encourages people to consume.
“If it grows on Earth and it looks like what it did when it grew on the Earth, it’s probably okay for you.”
Learn about natural remedies for diabetes at Diabetescure.news.