Friday, October 22, 2021

Too Many Carbohydrates

 Most of us with type 2 diabetes don't stuff ourselves with huge plates of spaghetti, but some nondiabetics and even some people with diabetes do, sometimes because they're still brainwashed by the low-fat diet fad of the 1990s. And when you limit fat, you eat more of other things, especially carbohydrates, which are both cheap and filling, at least for a short time.

 When I was diagnosed with type 2 in 1996, I started off following the ADA-recommended low-fat diet. I did lose weight on this diet, which limited calories as well as fat, but I was ravenously hungry 24 hours a day. I finally decided I didn't want to live if I was hungry all the time, so I switched to a low-carb diet, even though the traditional dieticians said the diet would kill me. My hunger immediately went away. The weight loss also slowed down.

The dieticians also said no one could stick with this diet long term. I don't know if 25 years qualifies as long term, but so far the diet hasn't killed me.

Some people continue to criticize low-carb diets, but a recent study showed the dangers of high consumption of carbohydrates. They found that high consumption of carbohydrates reduces the level of antioxidants in the body, especially in those who are overweight. The study was done in nondiabetics.

Here is the journal article. You can download a 52-page full text if you like.

Now, there are populations that have always had high-carb diets, like the Kitavans, who eat lots of yams, not lots of croissants, and they're pretty healthy. Have their bodies adapted to their diet to produce more antioxidants? No one has studied this, but the body is often able to adapt to dietary changes.

Also notice that the article refers to overconsuming carbohydrates, not just having the occasional piece of bread. So the research probably doesn't have much practical application for now. But it's interesting. And it's another small piece of evidence showing the advantages of low-carb diets, which are demonized by some.