Low-carbohydrate diet reduces risk of diabetes without losing weight


Reducing the risk of diabetes through proper nutrition

Researchers have found that a low-carbohydrate diet can benefit people at risk for type 2 diabetes, even if they are not losing weight.

A recent Ohio State University study found that a low-carbohydrate diet brings health benefits to people with type 2 diabetes. There is no need for those affected to lose weight. The results of the study were published in the journal "Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight".

People with diabetes have problems with blood sugar. They need to be constantly monitored to avoid dangerous effects on their health. Researchers have now found that a low-carbohydrate diet helps reduce the risk of diabetes. (Image: lieselfuchs / fotolia.com)

What does the low carbohydrate diet do?

The study looked at what happens to people with metabolic syndrome (a combination of high blood pressure, obesity, sugar and lipid metabolism disorders) if they follow a low-carbohydrate diet but do not lose weight. Researchers found that more than half of the people in the study no longer met the criteria for the metabolic syndrome immediately after a four-week, low-carbohydrate diet. However, the current study included only 16 men and women.

Number of participants was very low

The metabolic syndrome includes several factors that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat in the waist and abnormally low levels of HDL cholesterol, as well as elevated triglyceride levels, are health risks that can not be underestimated. In interaction, they become a serious danger.

Does Weight Loss Play a Role in a Low Carbohydrate Diet?

After consuming a low-carbohydrate diet, more than half of the participants (five men and four women) were found to reverse their metabolic syndrome despite having a diet that deliberately contained enough calories to keep their weight steady. Previous studies have previously shown that a low-carbohydrate diet may be beneficial for people with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but there has been some discussion as to whether this is a result of a diet or a weight loss outcome. There is no doubt that people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes benefit from a low-carbohydrate diet but generally lose weight through that diet. One of the prevailing thoughts is that weight loss generates health benefits. This was clearly not the case here, report the authors of the study.

Participants should not lose weight

The authors' view is that limiting carbohydrate intake, even without weight loss, improves a variety of metabolic problems. Obviously, the quality of the diet is very important. Over a period of about four months, each participant ate controlled diets for three months: rich in carbohydrates, moderately reduced in carbohydrates and low in carbohydrates. There was a two-week break between each different form of nutrition. The order in which the participants took the various forms of nutrition was determined randomly. It was also ensured that participants did not lose weight by receiving meals prepared with a calorie equivalent to their normal energy intake.

Positive effects of a low-carbohydrate diet

Consuming a low-carbohydrate diet resulted in a variety of beneficial effects, especially lower triglycerides and improved cholesterol levels. Despite the fact that the low-carbohydrate diet contained 2.5 times more saturated fat than the high-carbohydrate diet, it reduced saturated fat in the blood and was associated with an increase in the size of cholesterol particles in the blood, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduced disease, say the authors. There was also evidence of increased fat burning efficiency after a low carbohydrate diet and improved blood glucose levels. However, there were no statistically significant improvements in blood pressure or insulin resistance.

Weight loss can further improve outcomes

Even a modest restriction on carbohydrates is enough to reverse the metabolic syndrome in some people, but others need to further reduce their carbohydrate intake, researchers say. Due to the study design, waist circumference was not considered to be the cause of the metabolic syndrome. If it had also been a goal to lose weight, according to the low-carbohydrate diet, far more people would have been classified as disease-free, according to the researchers. However, this study does not address the potential long-term benefits and challenges of a low-carbohydrate diet, which requires long-term diet studies in people with metabolic syndrome. (THE)


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