Baldeep Pama

Reduce Diabetes Risk By Having Low Fat Meals

Balanced food reduces risk of diabetes

Balanced food reduces risk of diabetes

According to an article in Reuters,  a diet plan, which includes more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can actually reduce the risk of diabetes. Diabetes is considered as one of the biggest health related issue these days, especially in older people.

A new study suggests that eating low fat food doesn’t have to increase carbohydrate fueled health risks, especially in older women. Although the research cautions that consuming low- fat, high- carbohydrate diet could create problems for people who already suffer from diabetes.

The Study in Brief

The study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It looks at effect of diet and hormone therapy on risk of diseases. The participating women (2,300 postmenopausal women) were divided into two groups with one group acting as the control group. The first group of women was asked to reduce fat content of their diet and replace it with fruits, grains, and vegetables. The control group did not make any changes to their diet. All participating women were studied for 6 years for insulin levels and blood sugar levels.

Some surprising observations followed:

  • After one year, women on low-fat diet lost more weight when compared to control group.
  • After one year, women on low-fat diet had larger decreases in blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • However, at the end of 6 years, these factors were similar in both groups of women.
  • Women who already had diabetes at the beginning of study, showed larger blood sugar level decreases when following a low-fat diet.

Results

Researchers say that rather than cutting down on one food group and consuming more of the other, we are required to reduce consumption of all food groups like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to balance risk of diabetes and other diseases. When people reduce the fat in their diet they usually replace it with carbohydrates, and increase in carbohydrate intake can lead to changes, that may further lead to diabetes.

Conclusion

According to Dr. David Jenkins, Head of Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto:

  • Carbohydrates are obviously not a poison, and if consumed wisely they are useful
  • Switching from a diet which is rich in saturated fat and cholesterol, and relying on refined carbohydrates in a particular way increases risk of obesity and diabetes.
  • Refined carbohydrates include white bread, rice, sugary drinks and snacks.
  • Fat and protein from vegetable source like eating green beans, or adding hummus or peanut butter to bread is a better way to reduce risk of both diabetes and heart diseases.
  • Doctors recommend a diet that has a plenty of healthy, non- saturated fats instead of a diet that tries to cut down on all fats.
  • People who are healthy and are trying to cut down risks of diabetes and other diseases by cutting down fat can go ahead with it.

There are many physicians who recommend safe low fat diets, for people with diabetes, but  this may not be the best diet for everyone. A diet which is low in carbohydrate and high in fat can actually lead to weight loss over- time, because people start feeling full sooner. Men have shown improvement in managing diabetes when they get very small amount of their calories from carbohydrates.

Listed below are a few clinical trials investigating new treatments for Diabetes

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