Low-Carb Diet Reduces Diabetes Risk Even Without Weight Loss Outcome

Over the past several years, a great deal of research has gone into discerning the best diet for optimal health. While the proverbial jury may still be out on whether or not one diet is better than all the others, studies do continue to demonstrate that a low-carbohydrate option has many benefits. 

Today, a new study has been published suggesting that a low-carb diet can greatly improve health outcomes for people with type-2 diabetes, even if that diet does not help them lose weight. Indeed, many people opt for the “Atkins” diet as a means to shed some pounds, but new research shows that the diet, alone, can definitely help those with metabolic conditions. 

The new study involved 16 men and women who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. This is a grouping of various factors that categorize people at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. These factors could include conditions like hypertension, high blood sugar, higher adipose fat, higher triglyceride levels, and abnormally lower levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol.

Over the course of roughly four months, each study participant followed a strict three-month controlled diet: high-car, moderate-carb, or low-carb.  There was a two week break between the diets.  To summarize, the researchers found that after the low-carb diet, the participants showed significantly better health outcomes, especially in the reduction of triglycerides and better cholesterol readings. 

Previous studies have shown that a low-carb diet can help people with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but nutritionists have long debated over whether this was a result of losing weight or of the diet itself. Apparently, says lead study author Jeff Volek, the study sheds a little more light.  

He says, “There’s no doubt that people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes do better on low-carb diets, but they typically lose weight and one of the prevailing thoughts is that the weight loss is driving the improvements. That was clearly not the case here.”

According to the American Heart Association, approximately one-third of adults have metabolic syndrome. 

A professor of human sciences at Ohio State University, Volek goes on to say, “Our view is that restricting carbs even without weight loss improves a host of metabolic problems. Obviously, quality of diet matters because quantity is locked down in this experiment.”

The results of this study have been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. 

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