Many people think of low-carb as a fad diet, but it has been around for decades, and many have made this diet their lifestyle. While it can help in losing weight, it can also deprive the body of needed nutrients if taken to extremes.
First of all, carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. Though often maligned in trendy diets, carbohydrates — one of the basic food groups — are important to a healthy life.
Decrease the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Eating carbohydrates has a huge impact on our blood sugar and insulin levels. Eliminating carbohydrates in our diet can result in lowering our sugar levels and insulin needs. High sugar levels play a huge part in almost all chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
By lowering carbohydrate intake, blood sugars are controlled and insulin levels are minimised. This is incredibly beneficial for those with diabetes (type one or two) and those with insulin resistance.
Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels, With a Major Improvement in Type 2 Diabetes
Once eaten, carbs are broken down into simple sugars (mostly glucose) in the digestive tract. This is where they enter the bloodstream and increase your blood glucose levels.
Knowing that high blood glucose are toxic, the body responds with a hormone called insulin, which tells the cells to bring the glucose into the cells and to start burning or storing it.
For people who are healthy, the quick insulin response tends to minimize the blood sugar "spike" in order to prevent it from harming us. But that is not the case for many people. They have what is called insulin resistance, which means that the cells don't "see" the insulin and therefore it is harder for the body to bring the blood sugar into the cells. This can lead to a disease called type 2 diabetes.
There is actually a very simple solution to this problem... by cutting carbohydrates, you remove the need for all of that insulin. Both blood sugars and insulin go way down.
According to Dr. Eric Westman, who has treated many diabetics using a low-carb approach, he needs to reduce their insulin dosage by 50% on the first day.
In one study in type 2 diabetics, 95.2% had managed to reduce or eliminate their glucose-lowering medication within 6 months.
If you are currently on blood sugar lowering medication, then talk to your doctor before making changes to your carbohydrate intake, because your dosage may need to be adjusted in order to prevent hypoglycemia.