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Study reveals carbs, not fat, increase risk of type 2 diabetes

  • A new study finds high body mass index (BMI) is closely correlated to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
  • Limiting carbs is more effective at treating type 2 diabetes than lowering blood sugar with medications.
  • Nutritional guidelines urge us to eat less fat, but this study highlights the importance of more appropriate and up to date nutritional advice.

For decades, nutrition guidelines have stressed a low-fat diet as the key to good health and reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, but the latest science demonstrates that simply isn't true. A recent study has shown eating too many carbohydrates, not dietary fats, can lead to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.

What did the study entail?

Researchers conducted a study to better understand how the body processes large amounts of carbohydrates. They believed that overeating carbohydrates might contribute to metabolic distress, which can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

The study tracked healthy weight and healthy overweight participants, as they consumed a carbohydrate-heavy diet (in some cases over 350g of carbohydrates a meal).

What did the study find?

The study demonstrated that an excess of carbohydrates could increase the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Participants with a high BMI were more likely to develop serious metabolic issues, not just those who were overweight.

Why is this important?

Treatment of type 2 diabetes focuses on lowering blood sugar rather than preventing excess carbohydrate intake. But overeating carbohydrates is a widespread problem. The study shows that if our intake of carbs isn't controlled, some traditional ways of treating diabetes, like giving patients more insulin to lower blood sugar, can potentially be more harmful.

What now?

Governments need to consider that excessive carbohydrate intake has a devastating effect on many people's lives.

Authorities have a responsibility to provide Australian’s with up to date information and promote dietary advice that helps people lead healthy lives and maintain good metabolic health.