A new Harvard study suggests that the quality of food, not just the amount of carbs, may affect a person’s risk of Type 2 diabetes.
The research found that low-carb diets that emphasize animal-based foods, such as meat and animal fat, may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, while low-carb diets that emphasize plant-based foods, such as vegetables and nuts, may decrease the risk.
The study analyzed data from three large national studies covering a period from 1984 to 2017. Participants were divided into five equal groups based on their daily intake of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
The lowest-carb group in the study got about 40% of daily energy from carbohydrates. To evaluate the quality of the diets, researchers classified the foods people ate into 18 groups.
The study highlights the fact that not all low-carb diets are created equal.
This is an important point because low-carb diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, and there is a lot of confusion and conflicting information about what constitutes a healthy low-carb diet.
For example, the ketogenic diet, which severely restricts carbohydrates and emphasizes high-fat, moderate-protein foods, has been touted as a way to lose weight and improve health markers such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
However, some experts have raised concerns about the potential long-term effects of such a restrictive diet, including an increased risk of heart disease and other health issues.
Other low-carb diets, such as the Paleo diet, emphasize whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, and limit or eliminate processed foods, grains, and dairy products.
While some studies have suggested that these diets can lead to weight loss and other health benefits, others have questioned whether they provide enough of certain essential nutrients and may not be sustainable in the long term.
The team emphasized that there is no standard definition for a low-carb diet, and that people should pay attention to the quality of the food they eat, regardless of the amount of carbs.
While some low-carb diets may be beneficial for weight loss and blood glucose levels, there are concerns about their effect on cholesterol levels and heart health.
The American Heart Association recommends eating a diet that includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of protein, such as fish and seafood, legumes and nuts, low-fat or nonfat dairy and lean meats.
It encourages choosing minimally processed foods over ultra-processed foods, and limiting sugar, salt and alcohol.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D level linked to lower dementia risk in diabetes, and this eating habit could help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Paleo diet plus exercise could boost heart health in people with diabetes.
The study was conducted by Yeli Wang et al and presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.