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ADA To Change Thinking On Low Carb Diets?

Might it be a reality that the ADA might reduce its recommendations of getting most of our calories from carbohydrates? Could it be that they finally recognized that taking more medications rather then reducing the carbohydrates may not be the best treatment for patients with diabetes?

Up to now, the American Diabetes Association, while admitting that "the best mix of carbohydrate, protein, and fat appears to vary depending on individual circumstances," has been reluctant to recommend significant carbohydrate restriction for a number of reasons. These include concerns that the diet is too difficult to follow, and that increasing fat and protein in the diet may cause health problems. However, there is new and mounting evidence that a low-carbohydrate diet can be helpful to Type 2 diabetics in a variety of ways, including weight loss, reduction of blood glucose, an often dramatic decrease in triglycerides, and other health benefits. Additionally, longer-term studies are so far not showing the ill effects that were feared.

Each year in January, the ADA publishes new dietary and other treatment guidelines for diabetes, intended to reflect advances in the scientific understanding of how best to treat diabetes. Although the final wording of the 2008 document has not been fully decided upon, Dr. Judith Wylie-Rosett, co-chair of the writing panel for the ADA’s 2007 Nutrition Recommendations, has indicated that, "there is growing recognition that a variety of diets including low carbohydrate diets, can achieve weight loss. The importance of controlling carbohydrate intake to improve postprandial blood glucose is also recognized." Although Dr. Wylie-Rosett is understandably hesitant to guess at the ADA’s exact final wording for the 2008 update, she does think that it will reflect the growing indications that low carbohydrate diets can be helpful some diabetics.

We shall anxiously await the opportunity to read the final version of the new ADA guidelines in the January 2008 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

American Diabetes Association. "Nutrition Recommendations and Interventions for Diabetes." Diabetes Care. 30:S48-S65 (2007)

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