For those who want to control their type 2 diabetes through their diet, a low-carb diet may be more beneficial than a low-fat one, according to the results of a new study.
The Swedish study found that a low-carb diet can help reduce inflammation, which has long been associated with diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The two-year study from Linkoping University included 61 patients with type 2 diabetes who were separated into two groups. The first ate a low-carb diet, while the second group ate a low-fat diet.
While both groups lost weight, those on the low-carb diet showed fewer inflammation markers as well as lower blood glucose levels.
While experts have long been recommending a low-fat diet for those with type 2 diabetes, many low-fat foods have hidden sugars or artificial sugars that wreak havoc with both blood sugar levels and insulin.
According to a 2011 study from researchers at the University of Texas as San Antonio, mice that were fed aspartame gained more weight and showed both elevated blood glucose levels and decreased insulin sensitivity compared to a control group.
Researchers believe the artificial sweetener impacts blood glucose because it tricks the brain into believing it is eating something sweet, so it messages for the release of hormones in response to the sweetness. Because there is no sugar to convert, however, the process is disrupted, which can later impact how the body responds to actual sugar.
“These results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans,” lead researcher Dr. Gabriel Fernandes said.
Low-carb foods include vegetables, lean proteins, fruits (especially berries), nuts and seeds, with limited amounts of dairy and whole grains including pasta and cereal.