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High fat low carb ketogenic diet curbs cravings for weight loss and diabetes

Follow a low carb diet to avoid temptation.
Follow a low carb diet to avoid temptation.
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

More than two billion people globally are either overweight or obese, and 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. Now a new study is turning the conventionally prescribed diet upside down by showing evidence that low carb diets should be used for diabetes, reported ANI News on July 27.

The researchers cited 12 points demonstrating why low carb diets were best. They urged that the plan become the first option for treating type 2 diabetes. For those with type 1 diabetes, the experts recommended using low carb diets together with insulin.

Barbara Gower, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for research in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences, expressed frustration that organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the government recommend low-fat diets instead. "The resistance of government and private health agencies is very hard to understand," she said, reported Headline and Global News on July 28.

Low carb diets are so effective for diabetes that the researchers emphasized the need for caution for those currently under treatment. They advised patients to work with their physicians to minimize the risk of a sudden drop in blood sugar.

Dr. Terry Wahls is a physician who created her own version of a high fat low carb ketogenic diet when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In an exclusive interview on July 29, she revealed how low carb diets can help control blood sugar.

"Insulin controls fat metabolism. Insulin drives the blood sugar into fat cells and muscle cells," explained Dr. Wahls. "Insulin resistance occurs when the muscle cells do let the blood sugar enter the muscle cell as easily."

The body then must make more insulin "to keep the blood sugar in the healthy range. The higher insulin levels drive more sugar into fat cells. The fat cells increase inflammation and increase the amount of fat in the belly, known as visceral fat."

And it's a dangerous cycle when it comes to carbohydrate consumption. "The more carbohydrates we eat, the more insulin we have and the more inflammation we have," said Dr. Wahls. "The insulin drives the glucose down, as the glucose falls our hunger sharply increases, and we often feel severe fatigue, lethargy, and feel the need to drink more energy drinks and caffeine drinks to prop up our energy."

And that's where low carb diets can help both with diabetes and weight loss. "By reducing the sugars, and flour-based products and potatoes, we are reducing the need for insulin and are reducing the elevations of blood sugar and the drops (due to the insulin action) that cause hunger and fatigue," explained Dr. Wahls.

In contrast, eating protein and fat does not require insulin. The blood sugar remains stable, avoiding the low levels that can cause cravings and fatigue.

Those who choose high fat low carb diets experience significantly less hunger, says Dr. Wahls. "People who are consuming fat and protein with their meals and reducing the carbohydrates to non-starchy vegetables and berries will have stable blood sugars, feel much more satisfied with the meal and much less hunger."

She has observed this in her clinics and clinical trial. "People come back at three months and tell me that their energy is much better than it has been in years (often decades), their pain is much less (often gone), moods are better." In addition, her patients are delighted with their weight loss, which they experience without hunger.