Most diabetics already know that there is some confusion concerning the most appropriate diet for the diabetic. They also know there is no single dietary program that fits all people.
This problem only gets worse as there is conflicting dietary advice from so-called experts in this field. As well, the media often reports incomplete information from medical papers, which only adds to the confusion.
It is true that refined white sugar and products containing it are not helpful for the diabetic because of the instantaneous absorption of this substance into the blood as glucose. But there is more to a diet than just sugar considerations.
Some claims have been made of type 2 diabetes being cured through diet alone. The diabetic associations worldwide, however, are resolute that no cure for diabetes exists today. There is no diet to prevent type 2 diabetes!
Christian Roberts of the University of California undertook research into diet and diabetes and found that in 50% of those who followed a diet based on Pritikin principles, the type 2 diabetes symptoms were reversed. Managing type 2 diabetes with a low carb diet could work very well.
The regime for this study had participants exercising for one hour every day. They were also given a diet that was based on vegetables and whole grains with a only little animal protein eaten.
Another small study in the USA concluded that high fibre diets assisted in keeping blood glucose levels low.
Low Fat, Carbohydrate-based Diet
There is controversy over the dietary recommendations being offered by the diabetic associations both in the UK and the US. Their current advice is for diabetics to follow a low fat, carbohydrate-based diet despite what appears to be fairly compelling evidence to the contrary.
The problem in deciding what represents a safe diet, whether for diabetics or not, is in knowing which research to trust. Most research has an agenda. It may be that the research is being sponsored by a drug company to prove the benefits of a particular drug treatment. It may be that the research is undertaken by someone who is simply setting out to prove a theory. There is too little research that is truly independent and undertaken without prejudice to the outcome.
It has been recommended that an Atkins-type diet, high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrate, is the most suitable for a diabetic. It would certainly seem logical that restricting carbohydrates would help to prevent elevated glucose levels in the blood stream. There could well be consistency between low blood sugar and the Atkins diet. Proponents of the Atkins diet claim that cholesterol levels are not adversely affected by this diet regime. Of course there are contrary views.
Diabetics should understand that each person has his own individual metabolism and physiology. What may be a healthy diet for one person might very well be life threatening for another. Diets for type 1 diabetes should never me mixed with diet plans for type 2 diabetes.
A diet centered around healthy proteins such as white meat and fish, vegetables, natural carbohydrates, salads and fruit as well as monounsaturated fat supplemented by the essential fatty acids is a good starting point. Once this is established there is no reason why, under controlled conditions, individuals should not try introducing whole grains to see what effect they have on their glucose levels. In this way diabetics can evaluate for themselves what represents a healthy diet.
For more information and resources on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, symptoms, treatment, diet and recipes , research, useful resources on the internet , facts and solutions, visit Jeremy Parker's complete reference guide for Diabetes .