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Dr. Paul Mason4 min read

What to expect on the Defeat Diabetes way of eating

Focusing on the benefits of a low carb diet as the key to putting type 2 diabetes into remission, Defeat Diabetes is based on the latest nutritional and metabolic science.

But just what health benefits can you expect on the Defeat Diabetes Program?

Improved blood glucose levels

Low carb diets tend to improve blood sugar levels almost immediately. This is because carbohydrates are literally made of glucose molecules, which enter the blood after digestion. Simply by eating fewer carbohydrates, blood glucose levels can drop rapidly, even overnight. This improved blood glucose control is so pronounced that research indicates more than 50% of people can reverse Type 2 Diabetes using low carbohydrate diets. 

Weight loss

Low carbohydrate diets are well known for weight loss. This is due to a combination of better appetite control, leading to reduced consumption, and increased energy expenditure, even at rest. This means subjects on low carbohydrate diets are less hungry, and therefore eat less, and burn more energy even without exercise. One study found that insulin-resistant subjects burnt 478 kcal a day more when eating low carbohydrate diets than when eating high carbohydrate diets. This is equivalent to about 23% of the daily recommended energy intake, a huge amount. These metabolic advantages are why dozens of studies have found low carbohydrate diets are superior for weight loss when compared to low-fat diets.

Improved sleep

Many people find their sleep quality improves dramatically on low carbohydrate diets due to an improvement in a condition called sleep apnoea. This is a condition where the airway blocks off repeatedly during sleep. The increase in tongue size, which occurs due to excess fat deposition, is a major contributor to this process. Fortunately, weight loss on low carbohydrate diets can reverse this fat deposition, shrinking the tongue and opening up the airways. Sleep apnoea is an underdiagnosed condition, common in those with type 2 diabetes. As a rule of thumb, if you are overweight and snore, you might expect some improvement in your sleep quality with weight loss.

Reduced risk of arthritis and fatty liver disease

Osteoarthritis involves the protective surface on the ends of our bones which form our joints. This protective layer, known as articular cartilage, is very resilient and provides a relatively friction-free surface which allows the bones to rub against each other. In fact, the friction in a healthy joint can be less than that of two blocks of wet ice sliding against each other.

When this layer is worn, it is known as osteoarthritis. This does not always cause pain, however. Even in advanced osteoarthritis, there is usually a thin layer of articular cartilage remaining, and if the remaining cartilage is resilient enough to protect the underlying bone, minimal if any pain may be felt by many patients.

Fatty liver disease, associated with poor metabolic health and diabetes, however, can lead to high levels of enzymes in the circulation which weaken this cartilage, ultimately increasing the stress on the underlying bone and contributing to the pain of arthritis. These enzymes, known as matrix metalloproteinases, quite literally degrade the proteins making up the cartilage. Fortunately, losing weight is associated with a reversal of this fatty liver disease, and often leads to dramatic improvements in joint pain.

In fact, some research suggests that pain from knee arthritis might reduce by half with only a 10% weight loss. So if you have joint pain, you might just find some relief by following a low carb diet.

Reduced diabetic medications

By lowering blood glucose levels, low carbohydrate diets can also reduce the need for diabetic medications. In fact, if these medications are not appropriately reduced, this can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. For this reason, is it is important to remain in close contact with your doctor so your medication dosages can be closely monitored.

Reduced blood pressure medications

Blood pressure is reliably reduced on low carbohydrate diets. One of the main reasons for this is that insulin drives up sodium levels in the body, and is lowers with less carbohydrate consumption. Of course, this means you must remain under the close supervision of your doctor if you take blood pressure medication to ensure it can be reduced when it is appropriate to do so. Failure to do this might result in dizziness or even fainting.

Reduced reflux and heartburn medications

Research has proven that low carbohydrate diets can reduce the amount of acid in the food pipe, which causes symptoms of reflux. This includes one study that actually used probes down the throat to measure acid levels. After just six days of following a low carbohydrate diet, large reductions in acid levels were measured. This is one reason why many people can come off reflux or heartburn medications. And this is important, as there are several potential complications with their long term use, including increased risk of osteoporosis, pneumonia and dementia. Unfortunately stopping these medications suddenly is known often cause a rebound increase in acid secretion. For this reason, it is best to gradually stop these medications with the assistance of your doctor.

In summary

There is substantial medical evidence to support the use of low carb diets for the management of patients with type 2 diabetes and other metabolic illnesses. Those following the Defeat Diabetes way of eating can expect to experience improved blood glucose levels, weight loss, improved sleep, reduced risk of arthritis and fatty liver disease. Additionally, you will likely be able to reduce medication for a range of conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, reflux and heartburn. We welcome you on your journey to healthy living!

Please note that although the information provided by Defeat Diabetes is based on the latest scientific evidence, it should be used for general purposes only. For advice on your specific needs, you should always consult your medical practitioner or healthcare provider, and refer them to this website or contact support@defeatdiabetes.com.au.

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