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RETURN TO BLOG 29th December 2019 By the LiMe Program Medical Research Team Diabetes diet wars; Keto/low Carb versus Low-fat, high complex carbs. Which diet is best? These days, people living with type 2 diabetes are offered 2 main dietary options that claim to reverse type 2 diabetes, put it into remission or eliminate the need for medication. The choices could be broadly classified as keto/low carb on 1 side and low fat, complex carbs on the other. The most obvious difference is the macro-nutrient content of each. However, both ways of eating have their variants, and in fact, some variants can be hard to classify as one or the other. Working out which way of eating is the best is next to impossible-even for the experts. The scientific claims and counter claims from both sides can sound very convincing. Both sides ‘cherry pick’ the evidence that supports their (usually very entrenched) views and both sides seem to always have a seemingly reasonable response to the other’s criticism. To make matters worse, some of the research claimed to support some keto/low carb reversal programs is published in what are known as ‘predatory’ journals. These journals will publish studies in return for a publishing fee and the peer review process can be a sham or non-existent, making the so called science worthless. The LiMe Program’s view is that both dietary options have something to offer and the LiMe Program incorporates the best of both dietary options into the LiMe Program. The LiMe Program has a 2 stage dietary program, starting with the Carb Controlled diet which then transitions to a sustainable, long term way of eating, proven to be safe in the long term. Firstly, some Nutrition 101 on both dietary options… Keto/low carb has many variants, known by various names, including ketogenic (keto), low carb, low carb-high fat (LCHF), paleo, Atkins, South Beach and a few more. The general focus of these diets is to reduce carbs, which means higher fat and protein content. Keto/low carb proponents claim carbohydrates (carbs) are the enemy of diabetics and carbs are even blamed for causing diabetes. It is true that refined and processed carbs such as sugary soft drinks, white bread, cakes and junk foods like doughnuts, pastries and most boxed breakfast cereals, should be avoided. However, to generalise and include healthy, complex carbohydrates is a huge mistake. Complex carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables should be the long-term mainstay of a healthy diet for everyone; whether living with diabetes or not. The Health Canada food plate shows ¾ of the plate being carbohydrate rich foods. The Keto/low carb diet is probably the most popular diet going around when it comes to diabetes reversal diets. Does it work? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. In the short term, the keto/low carb diet has some value - it often brings blood glucose numbers back into the normal range, if measured by a fasting blood sugar test or HbA1c test, so it appears to work. However, in the long term it does not and is potentially a life- threatening disaster. A simple pathology test, known as the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), which is the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes, will confirm how ineffective it really is both in the long and short term. Very simplistically, the reason it seems to work in the short term is to do with how the body responds to eating carbs. By avoiding carbs, which the body converts into blood glucose, blood glucose levels stay lower and may even seem normal. Protein rich and high fat foods don’t cause the same blood glucose elevation as carbs. Avoiding or severely restricting healthy, complex carbs will eventually worsen diabetes and cause many other health problems. The false logic of keto/low carb diets Type 2 diabetes is not a condition caused by excess carbohydrates or carbohydrate intolerance, as is claimed by keto/low carb diet marketers. Their false logic is that because carbohydrates break down into sugars in the blood and because diabetes is a condition of high blood sugars, avoiding carbs reduces blood sugars and fixes diabetes. It appears logical at first glance. The only problem is, that although it is not immediately obvious or generally known, diabetes is mainly caused by excess fats, not excess carbs or sugars. Keto/low carb theory is based on applying the same logic that says fire-fighters cause house fires because they are found at the scene of the fire. Most cases of type 2 diabetes are a condition of insulin resistance, where there is more than enough insulin being produced but it is ineffective. Insulin resistance is caused by a build up of fats inside the cells. The medical term is intramyocellular lipids. These fats ‘clog up’ the cells’ insulin receptors and when that happens, insulin signalling is disrupted, insulin can’t do its job of opening the ‘doors’ to the cells and the glucose in the blood can’t enter the cells, where it is needed for energy. The glucose remains in the blood, causing high glucose levels, which is known as diabetes. Reversing insulin resistance and restoring insulin sensitivity is the key to reversing type 2 diabetes permanently. The best way to do that is to clear out the fats inside the cells so that when carbs are eaten, the glucose can quickly enter the cells and blood glucose levels remain normal because insulin is doing its job in an environment of high insulin sensitivity Over time, low carb/high fat, keto style diets gradually worsen diabetes by worsening insulin resistance. Their high fat content increases the levels of fats inside the cells and the insulin resistance increases as insulin effectiveness decreases. Eating healthy complex carbs becomes more and more difficult the longer this unhealthy state continues. Healthy, complex carbs, which are recommended as the mainstay of a long term way of eating are essential for long term good health. The longer healthy carbs are avoided, the more the risks of chronic diseases like cardio vascular disease, vascular dementia, arthritis, cancers and auto-immune diseases increases. Credible, science based agencies such as Health Canada, specifically say to include plenty of healthy, complex carbohydrates for long term health reasons. No credible health agency anywhere suggests a low carb/keto style diet. Proof that high fat/low carb, keto diets fail to reverse diabetes A simple way to show how ineffective high fat/keto style diets really are at reversing insulin resistance and in turn reversing diabetes, is to do an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). The OGTT is like a stress test for insulin effectiveness. It places the insulin process under a load and shows how it is performing. It is the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes. Usually done over 2 or 4 hours at a pathology centre, it involves drinking 75grams of a glucose solution and taking insulin and blood glucose readings at regular intervals. If insulin resistance is high, which it will be by following a low carb/high fat, keto style diet, blood glucose levels will remain high for a longer period and if pancreatic function is still high, a large amount of insulin will be produced as the body attempts to reduce the blood glucose to normal levels. Keto/low carbs based programs never use this test to measure their effectiveness because they will show insulin resistance is high and diabetes has not been reversed. ‘Normal’ blood glucose levels are not the same as being non-diabetic. A keto/low carb style diet can make other pathology test numbers look good while hiding the underlying and worsening problem of insulin resistance. HbA1c and other tests that measure blood glucose can be misleading and not detect insulin resistance if following a keto style diet. The OGTT is a very valuable test because it shows how effective insulin is, which is the key to reversing diabetes long term. On the other hand, a low fat, high complex carbohydrate eating style has been shown to clear the fats inside the cells, which in turn restores insulin function and lowers blood glucose levels because the glucose can now enter the cells instead of remaining in the bloodstream and causing diabetes. It forms the basis of long term eating guides such as those promoted by Health Canada. No credible agency suggests eating a keto style diet. Still not convinced? Watch this 5 minute video which contains references to the supporting medical literature. The only drawback of a low fat, high complex carb diet is that it can initially cause blood glucose levels to spike when there is a state of insulin resistance, which is nearly always the case with type 2 diabetes. That can be a real problem but the LiMe program has a solution…. How to get the short term benefits of keto/low carb AND the long term benefits of high complex carbs. In another blog article, we introduce the LiMe Program’s solution to this problem using the Carb Controlled diet. RETURN TO BLOG
A fresh approach to diabetes
LiMe PROGRAM
2020 Copyright © REVERSE DIABETES
RETURN TO BLOG 29th December 2019 By the LiMe Program Medical Research Team Diabetes diet wars; Keto/low Carb versus Low-fat, high complex carbs. Which diet is best? These days, people living with type 2 diabetes are offered 2 main dietary options that claim to reverse type 2 diabetes, put it into remission or eliminate the need for medication. The choices could be broadly classified as keto/low carb on 1 side and low fat, plant based on the other. The most obvious difference is the macro-nutrient content of each. However, both ways of eating have their variants, and in fact, some variants can be hard to classify as one or the other. Working out which way of eating is the best is next to impossible-even for the experts. The scientific claims and counter claims from both sides can sound very convincing. Both sides ‘cherry pick’ the evidence that supports their (usually very entrenched) views and both sides seem to always have a seemingly reasonable response to the other’s criticism. To make matters worse, some of the research claimed to support some keto/low carb reversal programs is published in what are known as ‘predatory’ journals. These journals will publish studies in return for a publishing fee and the peer review process can be a sham or non- existent, making the so called science worthless. The LiMe Program’s view is that both dietary options have something to offer and the LiMe Program incorporates the best of both dietary options into the LiMe Program. The LiMe Program has a 2 stage dietary program, starting with the Carb Controlled diet which then transitions to a sustainable, long term way of eating, proven to be safe in the long term. Firstly, some Nutrition 101 on both dietary options… Keto/low carb has many variants, known by various names, including ketogenic (keto), low carb, low carb-high fat (LCHF), paleo, Atkins, South Beach and a few more. The general focus of these diets is to reduce carbs, which means higher fat and protein content. Keto/low carb proponents claim carbohydrates (carbs) are the enemy of diabetics and carbs are even blamed for causing diabetes. It is true that refined and processed carbs such as sugary soft drinks, white bread, cakes and junk foods like doughnuts, pastries and most boxed breakfast cereals, should be avoided. However, to generalise and include healthy, complex carbohydrates is a huge mistake. Complex carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables should be the long-term mainstay of a healthy diet for everyone; whether living with diabetes or not. The Health Canada food plate shows ¾ of the plate being carbohydrate rich foods. The Keto/low carb diet is probably the most popular diet going around when it comes to diabetes reversal diets. Does it work? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. In the short term, the keto/low carb diet has some value - it often brings blood glucose numbers back into the normal range, if measured by a fasting blood sugar test or HbA1c test, so it appears to work. However, in the long term it does not and is potentially a life- threatening disaster. A simple pathology test, known as the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), which is the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes, will confirm how ineffective it really is both in the long and short term. Very simplistically, the reason it seems to work in the short term is to do with how the body responds to eating carbs. By avoiding carbs, which the body converts into blood glucose, blood glucose levels stay lower and may even seem normal. Protein rich and high fat foods don’t cause the same blood glucose elevation as carbs. Avoiding or severely restricting healthy, complex carbs will eventually worsen diabetes and cause many other health problems. The false logic of keto diets Type 2 diabetes is not a condition caused by excess carbohydrates or carbohydrate intolerance, as is claimed by keto/low carb diet marketers. Their false logic is that because carbohydrates break down into sugars in the blood and because diabetes is a condition of high blood sugars, avoiding carbs reduces blood sugars and fixes diabetes. It appears logical at first glance. The only problem is, that although it is not immediately obvious or generally known, diabetes is mainly caused by excess fats, not excess carbs or sugars. Keto/low carb theory is based on applying the same logic that says fire-fighters cause house fires because they are found at the scene of the fire. Most cases of type 2 diabetes are a condition of insulin resistance, where there is more than enough insulin being produced but it is ineffective. Insulin resistance is caused by a build up of fats inside the cells. The medical term is intramyocellular lipids. These fats ‘clog up’ the cells’ insulin receptors and when that happens, insulin signalling is disrupted, insulin can’t do its job of opening the ‘doors’ to the cells and the glucose in the blood can’t enter the cells, where it is needed for energy. The glucose remains in the blood, causing high glucose levels, which is known as diabetes. Reversing insulin resistance and restoring insulin sensitivity is the key to reversing type 2 diabetes permanently. The best way to do that is to clear out the fats inside the cells so that when carbs are eaten, the glucose can quickly enter the cells and blood glucose levels remain normal because insulin is doing its job in an environment of high insulin sensitivity Over time, low carb/high fat, keto style diets gradually worsen diabetes by worsening insulin resistance. Their high fat content increases the levels of fats inside the cells and the insulin resistance increases as insulin effectiveness decreases. Eating healthy complex carbs becomes more and more difficult the longer this unhealthy state continues. Healthy, complex carbs, which are recommended as the mainstay of a long term way of eating are essential for long term good health. The longer healthy carbs are avoided, the more the risks of chronic diseases like cardio vascular disease, vascular dementia, arthritis, cancers and auto-immune diseases increases. Credible, science based agencies such as Health Canada, specifically say to include plenty of healthy, complex carbohydrates for long term health reasons. No credible health agency anywhere suggests a low carb/keto style diet. Proof that high fat/low carb, keto diets fail to reverse diabetes A simple way to show how ineffective high fat/keto style diets really are at reversing insulin resistance and in turn reversing diabetes, is to do an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). The OGTT is like a stress test for insulin effectiveness. It places the insulin process under a load and shows how it is performing. It is the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes. Usually done over 2 or 4 hours at a pathology centre, it involves drinking 75grams of a glucose solution and taking insulin and blood glucose readings at regular intervals. If insulin resistance is high, which it will be by following a low carb/high fat, keto style diet, blood glucose levels will remain high for a longer period and if pancreatic function is still high, a large amount of insulin will be produced as the body attempts to reduce the blood glucose to normal levels. Keto/low carbs based programs never use this test to measure their effectiveness because they will show insulin resistance is high and diabetes has not been reversed. ‘Normal’ blood glucose levels are not the same as being non-diabetic. A keto/low carb style diet can make other pathology test numbers look good while hiding the underlying and worsening problem of insulin resistance. HbA1c and other tests that measure blood glucose can be misleading and not detect insulin resistance if following a keto style diet. The OGTT is a very valuable test because it shows how effective insulin is, which is the key to reversing diabetes long term. On the other hand, a low fat, high complex carbohydrate eating style has been shown to clear the fats inside the cells, which in turn restores insulin function and lowers blood glucose levels because the glucose can now enter the cells instead of remaining in the bloodstream and causing diabetes. It forms the basis of long term eating guides such as those promoted by Health Canada. No credible agency suggests eating a keto style diet. Still not convinced? Watch this 5 minute video which contains references to the supporting medical literature. The only drawback of a low fat, high complex carb diet is that it can initially cause blood glucose levels to spike when there is a state of insulin resistance, which is nearly always the case with type 2 diabetes. That can be a real problem but the LiMe program has a solution…. How to get the short term benefits of keto AND the long term benefits of high complex carbs In another blog article, we introduce the LiMe Program’s solution to this problem using the Carb Controlled diet. RETURN TO BLOG
LiMe PROGRAM
A fresh approach to diabetes