Conquering Diabetes with Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates do not cause type 2 diabetes. In fact, a new study found just the opposite: A diet rich in carbohydrates can actually fight diabetes. A wide range of other studies looking at plant-based diets and diabetes have consistently shown similar results.
But you would not know that if you read the New York Times this weekend. On Sunday, the paper published an opinion piece urging Americans to ditch not only sugars, but wheat, rice, corn, potatoes—even fruit—to fight diabetes and obesity. The article also recommended replacing these foods with meat, eggs, and butter.
Advice like this is dangerous. Another recent study of more than 200,000 participants found that consuming large amounts of animal protein increased diabetes risk by 13 percent. But by simply replacing 5 percent of animal protein with vegetable protein—including carbohydrates like potatoes and grains—participants decreased diabetes risk by 23 percent.
Epidemiological studies tell a similar story. Traditionally, minimally processed and unprocessed carbohydrates, including rice and starchy vegetables, were the main staples in countries like Japan and China—and type 2 diabetes was rare. But as time went on, Western diets filled with meat, cheese, and highly processed foods replaced these traditional carbohydrate-based diets, and diabetes rates soared.
So how does it work? Insulin’s job in our bodies is to move glucose, or sugar, from our blood into our cells. But when there’s too much fat in our diets, fat builds up in our cells. Evidence shows that this cellular fat can actually interfere with Continue reading