Reducing Carbs Not Enough for Diabetes

CarbsCarbohydrates seem to be on everyone’s bad list, lately. It is true that we tend to eat excessive carbs, especially refined ones, and that this has been a contributing factor to such diseases as type 2 diabetes.

But, it is not enough to simply reduce carbs without taking consideration one’s whole diet. Ensuring adequate protein intake can really make a difference, as is one’s fat consumption. The latter point is demonstrated in a brand new meta-analysis of 102 feeding studies out of Tufts University, and published in PLOS Medicine. Researchers discovered that “consuming more unsaturated fats in place of either carbohydrates or saturated fats will help improve blood glucose control. Sole emphasis on lowering consumption of carbohydrates or saturated fats would not be optimal.” This has particular implications for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.

This can be confusing for consumers because there has also been a negative backlash against fats. What this research is telling us is that 1) it is not just about carbs; and 2) the type of fats matter as well. In practical terms they recommend “increasing consumption of vegetable oils and spreads, nuts, fish, and vegetables rich in unsaturated fats (e.g., avocado), in place of either animal fats or refined grains, starches, and sugars.”

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