Incidence of Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women Not Reduced By a Low-fat Diet

Next week we’ll publish a great article written by Dr. Richard Bernstein. MD. Dr. Bernstein is a long-term proponent of paying more attention to carbs rather than fats (though he certainly doesn’t advocate that you can have all the fats you want!) While Dr. Bernstein has been telling us about the benefits of low carb for over 30 years, there is still much skepticism about his (and many other’s-Gary Taubes, anyone?) low carb results. The establishment has been slow to be convinced, despite the many research trials that back up their findings.

According to a August, 2008 article in Diabetes in Control, an 8-year research trial showed little sign of a low-fat diet decreasing the risk for diabetes in healthy postmenopausal women.

“From 1993 to 2005, a total of 48,835 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years were randomly assigned to a usual-diet comparison group or to an intervention group with a 20% low-fat dietary pattern including increased vegetables, fruits, and grains. The outcome measure was self-reported incident diabetes treated with oral agents or insulin.”

But the low-fat diet among “generally healthy postmenopausal women” showed no reduction of diabetes risk after 8.1 years. The researchers concluded that reduced incidence of diabetes came more from weight loss (and exercise) than the decreases in total fat intake.

A related editorial quotes Mark N. Feinglos, MD, CM, and Susan E. Totten, RD, from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, as saying that the present nutritional recommendations for preventing diabetes lack very much evidence-based data.

“We do not know whether specific macronutrients put genetically predisposed people at increased risk of developing DM, or whether adding lots of fat or refined carbohydrate to the diet just makes it easier to take in excess calories,” Drs. Feinglos and Totten write.

Source: Diabetes in Control

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