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Managing Type 2 Diabetes: How Low-carb Diets Can Help

Managing type 2 diabetes: how low-carb diets can help

Managing type 2 diabetes: how low-carb diets can help

The obesity epidemic in Australia is resulting in an alarming increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
Approximately 1 million Australian adults have type 2 diabetes and it is estimated over 2 million people are pre-diabetic and are at high risk of developing this disease.
That’s around 13 per cent of our entire population! It’s easy to see why our health researchers have made it a priority to discover better ways to prevent and manage this serious disease.
To better understand the importance of diet when managing type 2 diabetes, we undertook one of the largest and complex diet and lifestyle intervention studies in Australia, in collaboration with the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia.
The two year study compared different dietary approaches for managing type 2 diabetes: a low carbohydrate, high protein, high healthy fat diet and a traditional high-unrefined carbohydrate, low fat diet. All participants also participated in a supervised exercise program.
Significant results
One of the most significant findings for those people who followed the low carbohydrate diet was a staggering 40 per cent reduction in the amount of diabetes medication they required, twice as effective as the high carbohydrate, low fat diet. The low carbohydrate diet was also three times more effective at reducing blood glucose spikes across the day.
The results of the study is creating a paradigm shift in our thinking about how we should manage type 2 diabetes.
For the millions of Australians who are overweight and have or at risk of developing Continue reading

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Low-carb and type 2 diabetes

Low-carb and type 2 diabetes

Is a low-carb approach to eating an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes? It seems so, according to a spate of recent research!
The CSIRO, in collaboration with several universities and research institutions, undertook a large and complex diet and lifestyle intervention study to better understand methods for managing type 2 diabetes.
Over 1 year, 115 participants with type 2 diabetes were split into two groups for eating:
a low-carbohydrate (14% carbohydrates at 50g per day; 28% protein; 58% fat (<10% saturated)) group
high-unrefined carbohydrate (53% carbohydrates; 17% protein; 30% fat (<10% saturated)) group.
The dietary protocols were energy matched, and they did this alongside an exercise program.1
Those on the low-carb regime experienced a whopping 40% decrease in medication requirements, 2 times that of the high-carb low-fat diet – who consumed 205g per day. And the low-carb diet was 3x more effective for reducing spikes in blood glucose throughout a day.
“Health professionals have been divided over the best dietary approach for managing type 2 diabetes, and the ongoing uncertainty is a hotly debated topic amongst clinicians and researchers,” said Associate Professor Grant Brinkworth and study author.
“This research shows that traditional dietary approaches for managing type 2 diabetes could be outdated, we really need to review the current dietary guidelines if we are serious about using the latest scientific evidence to reduce the impact of the disease.”
More recently, a U.K. based systematic review of intervention studies involving participants with ty Continue reading

Will High-Tech Skin Put an End to Needle Sticks for Diabetes?

Will High-Tech Skin Put an End to Needle Sticks for Diabetes?

Painful and inconvenient, needle sticks are part of daily life for many people with diabetes. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some high-tech wearable that could monitor blood glucose levels continuously and noninvasively — that is, without the need to pierce the skin?
We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. The FDA just approved a skin patch with a small through-the-skin wire that delivers glucose readings wirelessly to a wand-like reader — but the patch must be replaced every 10 days. And researchers at MIT are doing very preliminary research on tattoos that change appearance to indicate changing glucose levels.
Now University of Chicago scientists have taken these ideas a step further. Working with rodents, they’ve endowed skin itself with the ability to track blood glucose and are at work on a system that could give at-a-glance insights into all kinds of blood values.
The team, led by cell biologist Dr. Xiaoyang Wu, used stem cells and the gene-editing technique CRISPR to create skin cells that emit fluorescent light in a particular pattern as blood glucose levels rise.
The light is invisible to the naked eye but can be detected by a tiny electronic sensor that might be embeddable in a wristwatch or bracelet.
A GENTLE HEADS-UP
If this preliminary research pans out, the skin sensor-and-device combination could make possible continuous, noninvasive monitoring of blood levels of cholesterol, sodium, iron, bilirubin, and liver and kidney enzymes as well as glucose.
A gentle vibration, ring, or flash would alert wearers when levels got out of whack — a Continue reading

Eating Well with Type 2 Diabetes

Eating Well with Type 2 Diabetes

When you have diabetes, your diet plays a key role in controlling your blood sugar levels. SparkPeople strongly encourages everyone with diabetes to meet with a Registered Dietitian or a Certified Diabetes Educator in their area. These health professionals can assess your individual nutritional needs and develop a specific plan to meet your physical needs, work schedule and activities, medication schedule, health goals, tastes and lifestyle. You should not alter your diabetes management plan without discussing your options with your health care provider. With all this in mind, SparkPeople will still be a great resource for you. Use this article to review key points for eating with type 2 diabetes. Note: SparkPeople does offer meal plans designed for people with diabetes. Click here to learn more.
Carbohydrate Basics
Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. During digestion, sugar (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood sugar (glucose). If you consume too much carbohydrate-rich foods at one time, your blood sugar levels may raise too high, which can be problematic.
Carbohydrates are found in cereals and grains, fruits and fruit juices, milk and yogurt, and sweets. Because they are important sources of energy, it's important to include nutritious carbohydrates at each meal and snack. But keep in mind that the healthiest carbohydrate choices are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, and low-fat dairy products.
Portion Control
Portion control is a problem for many people, but for individuals with type 2 diabetes i Continue reading

Diabetes Basics for Family and Friends

Diabetes Basics for Family and Friends

There are few things more misunderstood than diabetes. It’s a disease that can seem simple from a casual distance (oh, it means you can’t have sugar, and you’d probably be just fine if you lost a few pounds), while in truth it is a very complex condition — actually, several fairly different complex conditions that all happen to be called “diabetes.” It seems like it’s a disease that’s mentioned all over the place, but it’s still rare enough that relatively few people ever really learn what it really is.
So today I’m going to offer this column anyone who finds themselves in the social orbit of someone living with diabetes. Consider this your Diabetes 101: Intro to ‘betes.
1. There are two main types of diabetes, and they’re not the same.
OK, this is an important one. Diabetes is really several different diseases. Both main types involve the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, but the causes are very different. And the treatments can be very different. Some of my most irritating experiences as a Type 1 diabetic have been when someone who knows someone with Type 2 decides to start giving me advice or telling me I shouldn’t be eating something. And I’m not alone here — everyone I’ve talked to with Type 1 has had the same experience, and it drives them crazy, too.
There is one important physiological distinction you should understand. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s beta cells, which produce insulin. Insulin is what the body needs to transfer sugar from the bloodstream to the body’s many cells (which use t Continue reading

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