As part of our educational outreach at Atkins, we try to attend as many conferences as possible to share all the research supporting low-carb diets and spread the word on how a low-carb diet like Atkins can help you lose weight and improve health. We recently attended a conference sponsored by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), where we were able to reach out to hundreds of people and talk about how Atkins works. A big topic of discussion at the conference was how powerful nutrition can be at managing a disease like diabetes vs. just relying on drugs that artificially manage the disease.This topic was covered in the AADE conference edition of Today’s Dietitian in the article “Low-Carb Diets—Research Shows They May Be More Beneficial Than Other Dietary Patterns.”
Current recommendations from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for people with diabetes have changed to reflect the increased use of insulin-sensitizing drugs, leading to guidelines that are relatively high in carbs (45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal!). The ADA approves the use of low-carb diets in obese and overweight people with type-2 diabetes as a way to promote weight loss, although cautions that this approach should be limited to one year.
But research continues to show that low-carb diets can be safe and effective over the long term. The meta-analysis (combining and analyzing the results of different studies) released in the June issue of the British Journal of Nutrition shows that a low-carb diet like Atkins is more effective for long-term weight loss (after the one- and two-year mark) than a conventional low-fat diet. In addition, it showed that a low-carb diet is beneficial and safe for people who are highly insulin resistant and have a higher intolerance to carbs. Another study from Sweden, published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, reported that it can help control weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure for more than 2 years in motivated patients.
This is great news, because these are the people who need to keep carb consumption low for the long term to control insulin resistance and carb intolerance. This meta-analysis and the Swedish study supports previous findings showing low-carb diets are more effective than low-fat diets, but what’s even more important is that these studies showcase the efficacy of a diet like Atkins over time, and shows that recommending a low-carb diet like Atkins to people with type-2 diabetes over a long term is a safe and effective way to manage the disease.
I have written about plenty of studies that show that low-carb diets are beneficial for weight loss (there’s a news flash), especially when it comes to people who have type-2 diabetes. This latest article in Today’s Dietitian addresses many of the studies we have covered that support the long-term efficacy and safety of low-carb diets, their positive effect on cardiovascular risk profiles, and the ongoing proof showing that low-carb diets can help people with diabetes manage their disease, while enjoying the benefits of lasting weight loss. According to the author of this article, “Dietitians now can offer low-carb diets as an option for their clients with type-2 diabetes, helping them focus on nutrient-rich foods to ensure nutritional adequacy. Working in concert with physicians also is important to allow timely adjustments of medications, especially insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, and hypertensive medications, and the regular monitoring of their health risk profile.”
It is encouraging to me when low-carb diets like Atkins continue to be recognized as an approved tactic for managing health conditions like diabetes. Managing your health through better nutrition instead of better drugs should really be the way to go.