Following a diabetic low fat diet have long been the recommendation for people at risk of developing diabetes and those who have already developed the disease.
However, with new diet trends such as low carbohydrate diets showing up the traditional wisdom of the diabetic low fat diet is coming under attack. You can read the evidence and decide for yourself, with the help of your doctor, if a low fat diet is right for you.
The down-side of the diabetic low fat diet is that when you keep your fat intake low you tend to make up for that by increasing you carbohydrate consumption.
When you eat carbohydrates your body converts them to sugar and this sugar then enters your blood stream. In a healthy individual, insulin is secreted in response to the blood sugar which removes the excess sugar from the blood so it can supply the body cells with energy.
In a person with diabetes however, insulin is either under produced or not produced at all. Therefore, a diabetic has a harder time clearing excess sugar from the blood.
This is the controversy stirred up by those who oppose low fat diets for diabetes control. They state that the more carbohydrates you eat on a low fat diet, the more insulin your body needs.
The advantages of following a low fat diet mainly revolve around weight loss. By following a low fat diet you may be able to lose weight and this can help prevent diabetes or make the condition easier to manage.
"Obesity is a serious worldwide problem and is associated with the risk of developing diabetes. Today, more than 1.1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and 312 million of them are obese"(1).
Low fat diets may also be easier to follow and stick with then low carbohydrate diets which call for a decrease in carbohydrate consumption.
The ultimate decision of whether or not to follow a low fat diet will be up to you and your doctor. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of low fat diets and if you choose to follow a diet use these guidelines.
Diabetes and food are closely related and what you eat is an important consideration for anyone at risk of developing diabetes or who is currently managing the condition.
(1) Diabetes Spectrum (2010). The Dilemma of Weight Loss in Diabetes. Retrieved from http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/20/3/133.full