A significant number of studies have shown that a low-carb diet for diabetics can be highly effective not only for healthy weight loss, but also for improving numerous measures of risk for diabetes and heart disease. A research by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine reported that a low fat diet does not have any advantage over the Atkins low carb diet. In fact, the study shows that the low carb diet actually has various significant advantages. This news is very important especially because most conventional doctors still believe that low carb diets are dangerous despite substantial evidence to the contrary.
What is the Atkins diet and how does it work?
The Atkins diet is popular across the globe and numerous books have been written about the diet since its original promotion by Dr. Robert C. Atkins, a physician who wrote a bestselling book about the Atkins diet in 1972. Initially, the diet was demonized and considered unhealthy by most mainstream health authorities largely due to its high saturated fat content.
New studies show that saturated fat is not harmful and since then the Atkins diet has been studied extensively and shown to lean to greater improvement in blood sugar, triglycerides, HDL (good cholesterol) and actually leads to greater fat loss compared to low fat diets.
The reason why a low carb diet is effective for boosting various health makers and weight loss is that when you eat more protein and reduce carbohydrate intake, your appetite goes down and you end up eating fewer calories without even having to think or work on it.
Phases of the Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet is divided into four main phases
- Phase 1: Induction
Eat less about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day for two weeks. Kick-start the diet and weight loss by eating high protein, high-fat with leafy greens or other low carb vegetables.
- Phase 2: Balancing
Gradually add more low-carb vegetables, nuts and a small amount of fruits to your diet.
- Phase 3: Fine-tuning
Add more carbohydrates to your diet in case you don’t want to lose weight.
- Phase 4: Maintenance
Eat as many carbohydrates as the body can tolerate without gaining weight.
Foods you should avoid on a Low Carb Diet Plan for Diabetics.
- Grains such as rice, barley, rye, wheat and spelt.
- Sugar including fruit juices, soft drinks, ice cream, candy and cake
- Trans fats that are found in processed foods. Such foods usually have the word ��hydrogenated’ on the list of ingredients.
- Vegetable oils: Canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and soybean oil.
- High-carb vegetables
- Low-fat and diet foods that are high in sugar
- High carb vegetables including turnips and carrots (induction phase only)
- Starches such as sweet potatoes and potatoes (induction phase only)
- High carb fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, grapes and oranges (induction phase only).
- Legumes including beans, chickpeas, and lentils ((induction phase only).
Foods to include on your Low Carb Diabetic Diet Menu.
- Your diet should be based around these healthy foods:
- Meats: Pork, bacon, chicken, beef lamb and others
- Sea foods and fatty fish: Sardines, trout and salmon
- Eggs: pastured or Omega-3 enriched
- Low-carb vegetables: Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kales and others
- Full-fat dairy: Cheese, butter, full-fat yoghurt and cream.
- Nuts and seeds: Macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds
- Healthy fats: Coconut oil, avocado oil, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.
Sample day’s menu for people on the Atkins Diet for Diabetes Type 1
This is what you might eat during a day of the first phase of the Atkins diet:
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and sautéed onions. Some of the acceptable beverages include herbal tea, water, tea and coffee.
- Lunch: Chef Salad with bacon, salad and avocado dressing.
- Dinner: Asparagus, baked salmon steak, and arugula salad with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes along with any allowable beverage.
- Snacks: You should have two snacks on a typical day. The snacks may include Atkins diet products such as granola bar, or chocolate shake or simple snacks such as cheddar cheese and celery.
Health benefits of the Atkins diet
The Atkins eating plan can improve or prevent serious health conditions such as type 1 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It’s essential to keep in mind that can help you shed excess weight can also reverse or reduce the risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In fact, most diets that can help you lose excess weight, (not just low carbs diets) can improve blood sugar level and blood cholesterol.
Some studies show that people who follow the Atkins diet had improved triglycerides, which suggests better heart health. However, there are no major studies that show whether the benefits increase how long we live or whether they hold up for the long term.
However, you should always check with your physician or diabetes management team before starting on a new eating plan like the Atkins diet, especially if you have serious health conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes.