Food for Thought
Low-carbohydrate diets may lure clients with promises of rapid weight loss, but the long-term health effects of these popular diets are unknown. Researchers recently conducted a prospective trial to determine whether low-carb diets used for weight loss increased or decreased the risk for type 2 diabetes in women over time.
Using data from the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study, the researchers examined the association between a low-carbohydrate-diet score (based on percentages of energy as carbs, fat and protein) and the risk of type 2 diabetes among more than 85,000 women over a 20-year period. Females who ate more carbohydrates had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate fewer carbs during the study period.
“These data suggest that diets lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat and protein do not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in women,” the researchers concluded in the February issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “In fact, diets rich in vegetable sources of fat and protein may modestly reduce the risk of diabetes.”
Keep in mind that not all carbs are created equal. If you do reduce your carbohydrate intake to lose weight, make sure you retain the healthy “complex” carbs, such as fruits and veggies. Instead, toss out the “simple” carbs, like those found in processed foods.