Low carb diet

An old study of 2017 from researchers of London Metropolitan University stated that diabetics should consume a low carb diet? What are its benefits in diabetics and other people? Are there any side effects of such a diet? What is low carb flu? What should replace the carbs of food?

London Metropolitan University study on low carb diet in diabetics

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society journal carried an article in 2017 that was a meta analysis of studies on diet in diabetics and its effects on blood sugar. The author’s said that diabetics should consume a low carb diet. Benefits are more if the diabetes patient consumes just 30 g of carbs in a day. This is sufficient and helps them to control their blood sugar better and keep it low.

Low carb diet
London Metropolitan University (Source: London Metropolitan University)

Additionally, this diet caused an appreciable weight loss of 4.5 kg in 2 years in the participants. This could help not only diabetics but also other people who take such a diet with low carbs. Also, this diet reduces stress and improves poor mental health. Michelle McKenzie, the study lead author stated:

“Our findings suggest that a reduced carbohydrate diet can be an effective technique for managing diabetes and new guidelines that promote lower carbohydrate intakes for both the general population, and those with diabetes, should seriously be considered.”

More long-term studies are required to ensure that the results can be confidently translated into clinical practice, however, the science at this point in time is compelling and should not be ignored.

Can every diabetic patient use this diet regime?

However, this diet might not suit every diabetic patient. The co-author of the study, Sarah Illingworth states:

“Clinical guidelines should be reviewed to consider including low-carbohydrate diets as a diabetes management strategy but this does not mean that it will suitable, or beneficial, for everyone.”

“Changes to diet should only be undertaken after consulting with a qualified dietitian and taking into account individual medical needs.”

Low carb diet
Low carb diet (Source: Healthify me)

As regards replacement for carbs in the diet, she feels that fats cannot be a substitute for carbs because high fats especially the saturated fat can cause anc worsen type 2 diabetes itself. Instead fruits and vegetables might be better. But low carb can have its own problems!

Low carb flu

Low carb flu occurs when the body is unable to get enough carbs. The symptoms that occur are mental fogging, fatigue, and headaches. There can be body cramps too. Besides this, constipation results. However, Diabetes UK feels that this is manageable. They say:

“Constipation can often occur with any significant change of diet and frequently this side effect will pass after a few weeks as your gut gets used to the change. Ensure you are having sufficient hydration and a strong vegetable intake.”

“If constipation is making you very uncomfortable, a bulking laxative, such as ispaghula husk or methylcellulose, may help. If constipation continues to be a problem consult your doctor or dietitian.”

Low carb diet
Low carb flu (Source: Breathe well being)

Thus, a low carb diet has its benefits but problems too. Seek medical advice before starting it.