Sunday, May 22, 2005

Diabetes Study Results No Surprise To People Doing Low-Carb

Well, well, looky what we found here today: "Atkins diabetes surprise"

It seems a new study released by the London-based Wellington Hospital finds that low-carb programs such as the Atkins diet can and does help people with diabetes lose weight and overcome their disease.

Surprise, surprise, surprise (in my best Gomer Pyle impression!). Actually, it's not a real surprise to people who are livin' la vida low-carb. While I am thankful I do not have diabetes, I have heard from so many of my low-carb friends who are diabetic about the wonderful results they have seen in improving their condition tremendously because of the low-carb lifestyle.

In fact, an entire book of research on the subject of doing low-carb for diabetes patients was released late last year called Atkins Diabetes Revolution. There is a wealth of information in that book that complements the findings of this new research.

In only the second such study of its kind, doctors examined twelve overweight diabetic patients between the ages of 35 and 62 and put them on a low-carb eating lifestyle for six months. Over that time, the study participants lost an incredible 8 percent of their total body weight and saw a noticably dramatic difference in their glucose tolerance.

Researchers admit this was a "really good result" from the Atkins program regarding diabetes. In fact, Jeremy Krebs, who served as the head of this study, was overwhelmed by the positive improvements in the diabetes patients they examined.

"When I went into it, with no published studies, I was expecting we would see [the low-carb diet] would be harmful. I was not surprised people were able to lose weight, but the health parameters all improved more than I expected."

Okay, so now we've convinced a doctor that the low-carb lifestyle does actually have health benefits besides losing weight. While most universally accept it as a way to lose weight (although, most of them would say "temporarily"), it's been like pulling teeth to get these doctors to see the long-term health benefits to their patients. And when a patient has diabetes, the results are even more promising!

Study participants only ate 20 carbs during the first two weeks, just as the Atkins program prescribes during their Induction phase, with a gradual increase in carbohydrates over the subsequent weeks. Again, this mimicks Phase 2 (Ongoing Weight Loss) of the Atkins plan. The study researchers wanted their patients to lose weight in the first three months and then maintain it for the next three months.

The only change the researchers made to the traditional Atkins diet is they did not allow the study participants to eat any saturated fat, but rather monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

They called this a "modified" Atkins eating plan, but really it's not. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who does the low-carb lifestyle tries to gorge themselves on sticks of butter, a pound of bacon a day and other such saturated fats. Most of us eat healthy fats, like the ones found in nuts, to help us get the fat we need on our low-carb plan. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating saturated fat on low-carb, most experienced long-time low-carbers learn to moderate their intake and cut back on it naturally.

Other interesting results from the study include a marked increase in the HDL "good" cholesterol levels in almost every patient. Additionally, Krebs said despite repeated warnings from his colleagues in the medical community about possible kidney problems from eating too much protein on a low-carb lifestyle, his observations led him to believe that was simply not a major concern. He also credited the low-carb approach for giving study participants a way of eating that helped them to feel full and satisfied without having to count calories and yet still lose weight.

WOO HOO! Can we get this guy to start lecturing doctors about the healthy alternative low-carb offers? Man, if doctors would just listen to what one of their own is saying, we could overcome this negative barrier regarding low-carb. Sadly, it will take a lot more studies like this before medical "experts" change their already-made-up-mind about what to think about low-carb.

Interestingly, Krebs said one of the study participants "just did not get" the Atkins diet and on his own decided, in addition to eating more protein and fat, that he was going to keep on eating the same amount of carbs that he always had. Talk about a recipe for disaster! Needless to say, he was the only patient to actually GAIN weight and make his health get even worse than it was before the study began.

What an idiot! Did he really expect to lose weight on a steady diet of protein, fat AND carbs?! It simply amazes me when people stray away from the plan thinking they know better about how to do it than a silly book. Just a small word of advice: DON'T DO THAT!

At the end of the story, a so-called health and nutrition expert responded to the study results with the same vile hatred and disdain for the Atkins lifestyle that we hear all the time in the media: "It does not prove anything. When someone loses weight by whatever means their diabetes will improve, that's been known for 50 to 60 years," adding that the diabetes problems will return if the patients continue with the low-carb lifestyle after the study they will see an increase in their cholesterol and insulin resistance.

See what I mean? Despite an incredibly positive story about the low-carb lifestyle, medical professionals are still going to scoff at any beneficial factors associated with it. It goes against everything they've ever known about health and nutrition. And by golly they're gonna protect their precious little reputations so they don't have to admit they were WRONG! It may not be today, or tomorrow or even next week or next year. But someday these same doctors who have been lambasting the low-carb lifestyle will be saying mea culpa to their patients when they realize just how wrong they were about livin' la vida low-carb.


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