By: Patrick Totty
For the first time, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) came out in support of low-carbohydrate diets for people with diabetes who want to manage their weight. The ADA announced this landmark decision in December 2007 with its 2008 clinical practice recommendations. The latest recommendation is in sharp contrast to decades of promoting only low-fat/high-carb diets.
Furthermore, there have been several recent research studies supporting a low-carb diet in reversing diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, which affects nearly 20 million adults and children.
Study: Published in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, this study assessed the effects of “restricted carbohydrate” diets in the management of diabetes. The analysis included data from 13 individual studies, in which lower-carb diets were compared to a higher-carb diet. The lower-carb diets used in these experiments ranged in carbohydrate content from 4 to 45 percent, so while some were genuinely low-carb, others were only slightly lower than conventional diets.
Results: Lower-carb diets led to significant improvements in blood glucose levels of HBA1c and levels of unhealthy blood fats known as triglycerides. Overall, blood sugar levels fell by 15 percent, HbA1c levels by 9.4 percent and triglyceride levels dropped by a third compared to the higher-carb diets.
Study: Published in the February 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this study analyzed the low-carbohydrate score as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Results: Individuals with a higher low-carb diet score were not found to have an increased risk of diabetes. When confounding factors were accounted for, individuals with diets of the highest glycemic load were found to be about 2½ times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who consumed diets with the lowest glycemic load. The analysis also revealed no link between animal fat intake and diabetes risk.
Judy Barnes Baker’s cookbook, filled with delicious, nutritious and low-carbohydrate recipes, can help these 20 million Americans who are trying to manage or reverse their diabetes. Carb Wars: Sugar is the New Fat (ISBN: 978-09792018-0-6; $21.95) is a lifestyle cookbook that includes nearly 400 recipes to help people enjoy food without unnecessary sugar and starch. An invaluable, comprehensive kitchen resource, the book includes:
- The history of low-carb diets
- Information about the importance of natural fats to health
- An analysis of the current low-carb diet systems
- How to read labels and how to avoid hidden sugar and starch
- In-depth information on sweeteners, fats, dairy products, flours and 27 other specific food categories
- Almost 400 recipes for both familiar favorites and new creations, from appetizers, soups and side dishes to main dishes, desserts and even breads
- Dozens of helpful tips about how to survive in a sugar-saturated world
- Sources for specialty products
There is no government definition of “low carb,” leaving it open to interpretation. The strictest of the low-carb plans start at 20 grams/day, others recommend 100 to 150 grams/day and a few allow up to 200. Baker reduced and eliminated carbs as much as possible without sacrificing taste. She provides many tips for replacing high-carb ingredients with lower-carb substitutes, including natural foods that have properties similar to the original ingredients, but fewer carbohydrates. Following are some of the recipes you’ll find:
- Peanut soup
- Pumpkin fritters
- Oven fried chicken
- Squash pasta with roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes
- Chocolate zucchini cake and muffins
- Chocolate truffles
The book is available online at Amazon.com and at better retail stores nationwide. For more information about the book, please visit carbwarscookbook.com.