The authors of this study explain the underlying principle guiding the treatment of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome patients with carbohydrate restriction. It is believed that the insulin resistance which characterizes these disorders is a natural response to the excessively high insulin levels which result from increase blood sugar. By chronically increasing the blood sugar and stimulating insulin release, carbohydrate consumption induces insulin resistance.
The authors argue that this theory is not only intuitively valid on its face, but also supported by a substantial body of experimental research. In spite of this, the theory has generally been opposed by public health agencies. The authors posit that this opposition has been due to a concern that the agencies’ discouragement of carbohydrate consumption would result in an increased level of fat consumption, which the agencies’ believe would result in increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.
The purpose of the present study is to bring together recent data which demonstrates that the substitution of dietary carbohydrate for dietary fat, even saturated fat, actually improves cardiovascular risk factors. In lieu of any evidence that increased fat consumption is dangerous when coupled with a low carb diet, the authors propose that a restricted carbohydrate diet should be thought of as the preferred treatment for individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or the metabolic syndrome. A low carb diet, they say, improves blood sugar control and reduces the need for medication.
The authors go on to review evidence that low carb diets effectively produce the health-enhancing effects described here even when weight loss is ruled out as a confounding factor. This means that a low carb weight loss diet would tend to improve glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors regardless of whether the dieter actually lost any weight on the diet.Citation: