European Guidelines and Low Carbohydrate Diets for Diabetes

My wife looks very much at what I am eating and drinking. More than once she complains my sugar levels are too high. she also wants me on all sorts of diabetic products of which I often question their value and do not like the taste always.

Many current popular weight loss diets advocate restricting carbohydrates for weight loss, and lots of books are available on the market. But the benefits and risks of these diets for diabetic patients are unclear.

English: Typical Atkins diet meal

Typical Atkins diet meal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many countries do have their own diabetes and weight control organizations, all presenting different diets. Several of them make recommendations regarding the best dietary approach to control diabetes type 2.  The British Dietetic Association, European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association and the Canadian Diabetes Association usually recommend a carbohydrate intake of 50-60% of total energy intake, total fat of less than 30% of energy while restricting saturated fat and trans fat intake.

I also know of combining the Mediterranean Diet with a low glycemic load diet resulting in an even greater protection against developing type 2 diabetes.

High glycemic load diets have been linked to increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  These kinds of diets stress out the pancreas.   Cells inside the pancreas, called beta cells, produce most of the insulin in the body.  When pancreatic beta cells work over time for extended periods, which is what happens  in high glycemic load diets, these cells poop out.  When beta cells die, the body cannot produce enough insulin and diabetes develops.  Many studies, including one in China, have pointed to the role of high glycemic load diets in increasing the risk of diabetes.

The purpose of a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Jan. 30, 2013) surveyed the scientific evidence of different diets to encourage weight loss, improve glycemic control (blood glucose levels) and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes.  Chronic elevated levels of blood glucose, low HDL-cholesterol, high LDL-cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

A recent diabetes treatment guide from European doctors states “there is no justification for the recommendation of very low carbohydrate diets in diabetes mellitus.”

But Steve Parker, M.D. who is practicing Internal Medicine since 1981 disagrees.

In a typical day, he might see heart attacks, strokes, out-of-control diabetes (both types 1 and 2), pneumonia, skin infections, broken hips, chest or abdominal pain, severe high blood pressure, kidney failure, and urinary tract infections.

In 2008, he wrote his first book, “The Advanced Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight, Feel Better, Live Longer“, published by Vanguard Press.  The book has a chapter on adaptation of the Advanced Mediterranean Diet for people with type 2 diabetes, but it is not a comprehensive approach to nutritional issues affecting people with diabetes. He is absolutely convinced that better diet and lifestyle choices can help individuals live longer, healthier lives.

Cover of "The Advanced Mediterranean Diet...

Cover via Amazon

People with type 2 diabetes are prone to premature heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and death.  The traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with lower rates of those illnesses, along with increased lifespan.  So a combination “diabetic” and “Mediterranean” diet for him seemed like a great idea.

In European Guidelines Not In Favor of Low Carbohydrate Diets for Diabetes the doctor presents his reasons for objection for eating and drinking high carbohydrate foods.

He  compiled the following articles in favour of carbohydrate restriction a couple years ago.
You won’t find anything newer listed. Admittedly, all or nearly all of the patients involved had type 2 diabetes, not type 1.



Additional reading:

New diet, more work!

*typos repaired, apologies. Posting from my phone is possible, but not easy.

Two big chunks of news for the moment, both exciting for me.

First up, the diet 109 more words

Wild tactics

It’s been almost a year that PSC and I have been training, and while she is looking great, I am decidedly not. For a little while I was losing weight, but now I am back up to 113 and seem to be stuck there. 173 more words

Diabetic Diets?

In 1797 John Rollo (England) successfully treated a patient with a high fat and protein diet after observing that sugar in the urine increases after eating starchy food. 768 more words
Low-carbohydrate diets are frequently taken as synonymous with the Atkins diet which remains controversial due to its presumed higher fat content.  In practice, however, many low carbohydrate dieters do not add additional fat.  A reduced carbohydrate diet may show a significant percent increase in fat, but there may be no change in the absolute amount consumed.  It is also feasible to increase fat intake in the form of healthy fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids, commonly associated with the Mediterranean diet and still avoid saturated and trans fat.

The Mediterranean Diet May Reduce the Risk of Dementia

Results of one of the longest studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet – made up of substantial quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts and olive oil – have a lower risk of age-related diseases such as heart problems, strokes and even dementia. 199 more words and 5 likes
Nine out of the 12 studies found that a strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with better cognitive function, lower rates of cognitive decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Still, the results for mild cognitive impairment – the stage before Alzheimer’s or dementia, when someone could be experiencing some cognitive difficulties – were inconsistent.

Mediterranean diet is good for the mind

The first systematic review of related research confirms a positive impact on cognitive function, but an inconsistent effect on mild cognitive impairment.

Over recent years many pieces of research have identified a link between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of age-related disease such as dementia.

296 more words and 6 likes

Mediterranean Food: Roasted Beets with Lemon Vinaigrette

Mediterranean Recipe Suggested by Dr. Janet

Earthy beets are a beautiful side dish when roasted, peeled, and topped with a lemony vinaigrette and fresh parsley. 166 more words

Variety and moderation are the key to a healthy lifestyle

Bread is the staff of life, or it was, until marketers and researchers started sharing their opinions of which foods were best for our good health. 602 more words and 1 like

Should Diabetics Avoid or Seek Fruit?

Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics have no need to avoid fruit …according to an article in Nutrition Journal.  Fruit is a prominent component of the Mediterranean and… 151 more words and 6 comments

Mediterranean Diet May Reverse Genetic Risk for Stroke.

Following a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) may not only reduce fasting glucose concentrations and lipid levels in patients who are genetically at increased risk for type 2 diabetes but may also lower their risk for stroke, a new study suggests. 775 more words and 2 likes

Mediterranean Vegetarian Stew with Couscous

The value of Mediterranean-style eating has been born out by years of research. Numerous studies have shown that the lifestyle and dietary habits of Mediterranean regional nationalities contribute to long life expectancy and low rates of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic disease. 306 more words and 2 likes

GMO’s are more dangerous to humans than just weight gain

Hi everyone,

One of my family members sent me a newsletter they received from the Mediterranean diet book. It suggests avoiding GMO’s because they make you gain weight. 546 more words and 1

Mediterranean Diet May Counter Genetic Risk of Stroke.

People who consumed plenty of nuts or olive oil fared better in study

Mediterranean diets heavy in two foods — olive oil and nuts — are linked to a lower rate of strokes in older people whose genetic makeup boosts their  490 more words and 2 likes

E-mail Interview With a Low-Carb Friendly Dietitian

I received an email from a registered dietitian (FS) in May, 2013. She had some reasonable questions for me and I thought you might be interested in my answers. 1,135 more words, 8 comments, and 2 likes

Another Study Links Mediterranean Diet With Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

And eating low glycemic load contributes, too, according to an article at MedPageToday. The 22,000 Greek study participants were followed for 11 years. From the article: 112 more words and 1 like

Following a Mediterranean, Low Carbohydrate Diet May Decrease the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Following a Mediterranean Diet, especially when combined with a diet low in certain carbohydrates, may decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests. 868 more words and 1 like

Does the Mediterranean diet lead to a better health?

Nutritional studies show it does.

The Mediterranean diet has been around for a while. It was first advocated by Ancel Keys who became interested in data which showed that American business executives who were thought to be the best fed in the world had higher rates of heart disease than people living in post war Europe where the food supplies were limited. 544 more words and 1 like


About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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1 Response to European Guidelines and Low Carbohydrate Diets for Diabetes

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