Low carbohydrate diet in type 1 diabetes
Guest article by Martin MacDonald
Just a very short post (and some extra thoughts) that tie in well with this article about Treating Type 1 Diabetes and Epilepsy through lowering carbohydrates an article which got a couple of strong responses! To follow on from that study here is a very recent paper on the improvements and adherence of individuals with type 1 diabetes to lower carbohydrate diets.
Nielsen et al (2012). Low carbohydrate diet in type 1 diabetes, long-term improvement and adherence: A clinical audit.
The study was based over 4 years of results. HbA1c (What is HbA1c?) and use of insulin were used to judge improvements and adherence. The results were that:
Attending an educational course on dietary carbohydrate reduction and corresponding insulin reduction in type 1 diabetes gave lasting improvement.
Interestingly the study stated that 'informed and motivated individuals' may benefit from this type of treatment. The reason for this being that some individuals, despite having type 1 diabetes couldn't give up the very things that make them sicker: sweeties, cakes, bread etc. This is a question I often pose to people and you can use it too; Who are the people that listen to dietary guidelines mostly? Answer: People who care about their health! People who either have an inherent desire to be healthy or have had a health scare. So, should we be preaching 'eat less salt', 'eat less fat', 'eat mostly carbohydrate' to otherwise healthy, informed and motivated people?
In my own work I often see young athletes and sports players trying to reduce fat or salt to a great extent only to their own detriment. They do this because they want to be super healthy and fit. Why at such a young age do they believe this is necessary? Because of the stupid Eatwell Plate, reckless British Dietetics Association spokespeople and the World Health Organisation saying things like 'High salt intakes are as bad as smoking cigarettes'… just writing that makes me want to use profanities in this post so I'll end it there.
Take home messages
- Lowering carbohydrate in those with Type 1 Diabetes can improved Hb1Ac levels and the advice to do so has lasting effects in motivated individuals.
- There is too much reckless nutrition advice given in this world.
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