An Option for Diabetes Management
As diabetes becomes more prevalent, there are also an increasing number of books and websites devoted to diets that claim to control it. Typing “eating for diabetes” into the “Books” section of Amazon’s search engine will retrieve more than 1,000 results. Just as there is more than one way to lose weight, there are multiple eating plans to manage diabetes. Of the many options, low-carbohydrate diets have been around the longest, and over the years considerable research has demonstrated their effectiveness in controlling blood glucose levels. However, they are still controversial.
Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, doctors tried numerous types of diets, including diets with less than 10 grams of carbohydrate per day, to try to manage blood glucose levels in their patients with diabetes. For people with milder diabetes (the terms Type 1 and Type 2 were not yet used), a diet that was very low in carbohydrate and high in fat and calories could result in reasonably good health, sometimes for many years. But this diet was not helpful for people (particularly children) with severe diabetes. For them, it was found that cutting back severely on all food kept them alive longer, but their quality of life was low due to constant hunger and emaciation. Once injectable insulin was available, carbohydrate — and food generally — could be consumed in greater amounts.
Over the years, recommendations from various health organizations have called for consuming a larger percentage of daily intake from carbohydrate based on research suggestin Continue reading