A low carbohydrate method should be the first line approach to manage patients with type 2 diabetes and most likely prolong lifespan, according to a group of leading experts from the Netherlands. These were the findings and conclusions derived from the exciting new study that took place at Leiden University.
The crux of the research was a large-scale review of randomised controlled trials of a moderate low carbohydrate diet, where up to 40 per cent of calories come from carbohydrates. The study which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reveals how it has a significant superiority over a low fat diet, where up to 30 per cent of calories come from fat, in the short term for glucose control and cardiovascular risk factors type 2 diabetics. The results of the study and research at Leiden University show how the former diet also has a marginal long term benefit in the same areas.
Type 2 Diabetes Has Been All Over The News in The United Kingdom
Type 2 diabetes has made big headlines in the United Kingdom recently as Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has revealed that he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes but has “reversed” the disease by adopting a radically different keto style, low carbohydrate method that has meant he has come off his previous medication. Labour is a leading UK political party.
Politician Tom Watson said that he initially developed diabetes through being “overweight, deeply unfit, [and] addicted to sugar and unhealthy fast foods”. However, Tom has since lost 44.5kg (7 stone) since being diagnosed in the summer of 2017. In fact he has improved his health so much that his diabetes is now in remission, so he claims.
Not only that Tom Watson has eliminated all junk food, processed food, starchy carbohydrates and refined sugar from his daily diet. He also says that he does not even eat fruit such as bananas because they contain some sugar.
Low Carb Sugar Restricted Food as a First Line of Defense
Going back to the study at Leiden University in the Netherlands, research co-author Professor Hanno Pijl said: “There is no plausible explanation for recent media reports that average carb consumption prolongs health span in all of us. Indeed, minimally processed, low carb (starch and sugar restricted) food should be the first line dietary approach in the management of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.”
Only last month, a further study that was published in the Lancet Public Health journal found consuming a diet that is either very high or very low in carbohydrates is associated with a shorter life expectancy. While there are always exceptions to the rule the study found that eating carbohydrates in moderation seems to be optimal for health and living a long life. As such there exists a “sweet spot” that is found somewhere in the middle at 50 per cent of calories.
Fuelling The Ongoing Low Carbohydrate Method / Fat Diet Debate
So the findings from this latest study in the Netherlands will most certainly add much additional fuel to carbohydrate/fat diet debate which has split the scientific and public health community around the world. High profile adopters of ketogenic style diets like Tom Watson only serve to increase media intensity. After all poor or mismanaged diets can lead to health problems which in turn can place huge strain on public health services.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, a London-based cardiologist and anti-obesity campaigner, said in a discussion of the findings with the authors and other health experts in the British Journal of Sports Medicine podcast that doctors have “a duty and responsibility to our patients and scientific integrity”. He had this to say on the matter:
“This means we must give advice based on what the up to date totality of evidence says. In my view there is no doubt that the misguided low fat food movement that has driven up consumption of sugar and starchy carbohydrate in the population is at the root of the type 2 diabetes epidemic. “This is a condition which has an average reduction in life expectancy of 5 to 10 years.
A Low Carb Approach is the Most Effective Way to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
It is now clear that a low carbohydrate approach is the most effective way to manage type 2 diabetes, not only in terms of glucose control and improving cardiovascular risk factors but for many reverses the condition entirely. It’s most likely that a real food, healthy low carbohydrate diet will lengthen lifespan, not shorten it.
“ More people than ever have diabetes and more people than ever are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, rates of which have risen sharply in recent years alongside the obesity epidemic. If nothing changes, more than five million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025 – 90 per cent of whom will be type 2.
Arjun Panesar, who is currently the chief executive of diabetes.co.uk, had this to say about encouraging patients to consider adopting a low carb diet to help manage their type 2 diabetes.
We have been astounded by the global impact that the Low Carb Program is having on redefining the understanding of type 2 diabetes, it’s metabolic underpinning and the opportunity to put it into remission.
Not only is this opportunity achievable, it is sustainable and scalable. “To date, 350,000 people have joined the Low Carb Program, with published 1-year outcomes demonstrating an average weight loss of 7.4kg, that 40 per cent of people who start on a medication no longer require it and 1 in 4 people who complete the program in remission at 1 year.
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