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Low carb ketogenic diet takes on low-fat diet for diabetes: Clear-cut winner

Low-carb Mediterranean diet beats low-fat diet for managing diabetes, says study
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Low-carb, high-fat diets outperformed low-fat diets for managing and even reversing type 2 diabetes.

According to an eight-year study conducted by the Second University of Naples, men and women who followed a low-carb Mediterranean diet were able to come off their diabetes drugs and reverse their diabetes symptoms more readily than people who followed a low-fat diet.

In the study, two groups of diabetic men and women were instructed to either follow a low-fat diet or a low-carb, high-fat Mediterranean diet that was comprised of at least 30% fat.

The results showed that the higher-fat, low-carb dieters were able to live without their diabetes medication for eight years, while the low-fat group required drugs after only six years.

What's more, 15% of the low-carb, high-fat dieters experienced partial or complete remission of their diabetes within the first year, while only 5% of the low-fat dieters experienced partial or full remission. And after six years, 4% of the LCHF dieters experienced remission, while none of the low-fat dieters did.

Cardiologists: Unprocessed Saturated Fat Is Healthy

Ironically, diabetics have long been advised to follow a low-fat diet, but new research indicates that unprocessed saturated fats (like those in extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, salmon and avocados) can prevent and even reverse diabetes.

The Mediterranean diet is not technically a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet like the Atkins or ketogenic diets, where dietary fat can make up more than 70% of total caloric intake, but it's definitely not a low-fat.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats, lean proteins, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. The diet is based on the traditional eating plans of Italian, Greek, Spanish, and other Mediterranean cultures, and is the diet followed by Spanish actress Penelope Cruz and TV star Brooke Burke Charvet, who recently overcame thyroid cancer.

Ketogenic Diet Beats Low-Fat Diet For Reversing Diabetes

Like the Mediterranean diet, the high-fat ketogenic diet beat the traditional low-fat, high-carb American diet for managing diabetes. A new study conducted by the University of California at San Francisco found that the LCHF ketogenic diet is better for reversing type 2 diabetes than the low-fat, high-carb diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

It was a small study involving 11 ketogenic dieters and 13 low-fat dieters, but the results were convincing. Some 64% of the ketogenic dieters were able to reduce their diabetes drugs, compared to 15% of the low-fat dieters. What's more, the ketogenic dieters lost more weight than the low-fat dieters (12 pounds versus 5.7) despite eating more calories.

The ketogenic diet has soared in popularity recently, as new research indicates that unprocessed saturated fat has been wrongly blamed for causing weight gain, heart attacks and cancer.

Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist, recently said the 40-year demonization of saturated fat was based on flawed data and that a high-carb diet is responsible for diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, high cholesterol, and early mortality.

“There is no conclusive proof that a low-fat diet has any positive effects on health," DiNicolantonio wrote in BMJ. "The public fear that saturated fat raises cholesterol is completely unfounded."

Neurologist Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, said the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet also prevents Alzheimer's disease and ADHD. And Dr. Jeff Volek, a dietitian and professor at the University of Connecticut, said the ketogenic diet promotes rapid weight loss, and prevents heart disease and cancer.

"There are very few people that a ketogenic diet could not help," said Volek, author of the Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living.

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