Benefits of a low carb diet
Dr Boris Draznin, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and director of research at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center says there are currently 18.2 million diabetics in America, with 800,000 new cases diagnosed each year. In addition, there are 20 million people at risk for developing adult-onset diabetes. Many of those are children suffering from obesity. How can a low carb diet benefit those with this prevasive disease?
Poor choices and an obese societyThe rise in the development of diabetes in adults is clearly linked to obesity. What Dr Robert Atkins and others have taught us is that the obesity is a result of our modern lifestyle and poor diet choices. The poor choices lead to spikes in blood sugar which causes cravings for the very foods that cause the spike, foods made with processed flour and sugar, and starchy vegetables. Originally, the human diet was made up of whole grains, fresh plants and meat. Now, as then the survival of the human species depends on our eating for fuel. Today, how many modern families rely on candy, donuts, pasta, white bread, potato chips and fries for their fuel? Too many, according to the statistics.
Changes in insulin levels and diabetesThe healthy human body produces insulin which is the hormone used to control the body's use, distribution and storage of energy from the food we eat. In other words, insulin controls glucose.
In Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Dr Atkins wrote, "Foods rich in carbohydrates, especially sugar, honey, milk and fruit which contain simple sugars, and refined carbohydrates such as flour, white rice and potato starch -- are all readily absorbed through the stomach, so they speedily convert to glucose. When these foods are eaten in excess, they require a lot of insulin transportation." On the other hand, protein requires little insulin, and fats require none.
As the diabetic, or pre-diabetic, patient gains weight thanks to our fast food world, the body's cell's insulin receptors become blocked. The result is that glucose is no longer converted into energy, but into fat. The more excess weight a person carries increases the chance that he will continue to gain weight quickly, due to his body's inability to control the use and storage of the glucose.
Damage done by diabetes doesn't stop with peaking blood sugar levels. The onset of diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, adding to the probability of declining health and early death.
The good news is that with the aid of a controlled-carbohydrate diet, diabetics can reset their insulin receptors, and family members of diabetics no longer need feel they are pre-destined to a life of pills, insulin medications and the stark realities of uncontrolled diabetes: amputation, blindness, strokes and heart disease.
Follow a delicious low carb diet for healthThe Hamptons Diet is Dr Fred Pescatore's book on the low carb way of life developed from his personal experience treating diabetics and their families. Great tasting food and lifestyle advice are the keys to regaining and keeping good health. "The inspiration for the new diet book was to get people to eat healthy low carb. I wanted low carb to be about more than burgers, bacon and eggs," Dr Pescatore says. To this end he mixes in the Mediterranean diet with traditional low carb fare.
Dr Pescatore has enjoyed many successes with his patients. "Their lives are changed always for the better as they can reduce or stop their medications once they are on a low carb lifestyle. Even those on insulin can drastically reduce their medications once they start eating this way." He emphasizes using the right type of fats in his book. He recommends monounsaturated fats, which have been shows to lower insulin resistance and blood sugar, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Family involvement is key in managing diabetesFurthermore, Dr Pescatore recommends getting support of the entire family to change their diet. This not only helps the diagnosed diabetic but can stop the family heritage of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
"If a family can learn to avoid sugar and simple carbs they will have a much better chance of being healthy in future generations, simply because their habits have gotten healthier," he says. He cautions that changing a family's habits can be rough, but time, energy, practice and patience can smooth things over.
Not only is Dr Pescatore helping his patients, he helped himself avoid a life of poor health. "I was an overweight child and never want to be overweight again. I have been following my own advice for 11 years now. I wrote The Hamptons Diet because it was time for the science of low carb dieting to be updated, and to make it truly healthy by adding the Mediterranean flair," he says.
Keep weight off for goodDr Draznin, who has been treating diabetics for more than 30 years, is also promoting his own spin on low carbing. Based on his years of success, he developed a book called The Thinking Person's Guide to Diabetes: The Draznin Plan for those seeking to achieve weight loss, treat existing diabetes, and most important, prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in family members of diagnosed diabetics.
"The real key to keeping weight off involves changing your lifestyle," Dr Draznin says. "Success means modifying your physical activities along with your eating habits. It requires an individualized approach and a serious commitment."