There are a lot of fad diets out there that are worth trying out, especially if you are a diabetic looking to shed a few pounds. The Atkins diet and diabetes is a topic that gets raised quite a lot. Is the Atkins diet good for diabetics, anyway? WhichChoose will give you the best answer below. Read on.
What Are The Akins’ Diet?
The Atkins diet was the original low carbs diet. It came into vogue some time ago and was successful because of the speed at which dieters lost weight. Eating a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates puts someone’s body into ketosis – where the body burns fat as opposed to the carbs in your body. Is it any wonder that the Atkins diet and diabetes have gathered so much attention?
The diet works on the idea that weight gain is caused not by fat intake or food portion sizes but how our body breaks down carbohydrates, in particular processed and starchy carbs such as bread, potatoes, or pasta.
Is The Atkins Diet Good For Diabetics?
It might make more sense for type 2 diabetics.
A low-carb diet may be a successful way to counter the effects of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is primarily managed through proper diet and exercise, so in some respects, a low-carb diet is encouraged, as type 2 diabetics have to watch the number of carbs that they eat anyway.
People with type 1 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels with insulin but may find blood sugar levels easier to control with a low-carb diet.
How It Works?
Someone on the Atkins diet will severely limit the number of carbs and sugar that they eat. This will include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and also things like vegetables and fruit, and anything with high sugar content. This leaves protein and fats, such as eggs, cheese, meat, etc for a dieter will focus on.
As you might know, carbs are converted by the body into sugar and are directly responsible for raising your blood sugar levels. Lowering your carb intake, therefore, results in lower blood sugar levels and lower insulin requirements which can ultimately lead to weight loss. Without carbs, your body will burn fat as its primary energy source.
Advantages of the Atkins/ Low Carb Diets
- It can promote rapid weight loss (don’t forget some weight will just be water retention)
- You can eat as much fat and protein as you want (game on Mcdonalds’, minus the burger buns, chips, and sugary soft drinks, of course)
- The Atkins Diet has been proven to work many times
- The Atkins diet may not be as time-consuming and expensive as some other popular diets
Disadvantages of the Atkins/ Low Carb Diets
- The Atkins diet can be very restrictive. Bacon, eggs, and cheese sound great but it does get repetitive all the time.
- The diet sees you eating a lot of fat.
- The diet can cause bad (dogs) breath, leave you with headaches or an upset tummy in the early days.
- The diet, by default, cuts out many valuable nutrients you would get from salads, fruit, and vegetables.
- It is pretty much a no-go area for vegetarians.
- There are also concerns about the effect of such high levels of protein and fat on vital organs such as the heart and the kidneys.
After the first couple of weeks, the Atkins Diet provides a maintenance program, which involves the gradual re-introduction of some carbohydrates into the diet in order to maintain weight loss. The carb intake, even at this stage, is much lower than most people are accustomed to.
Is The Atkins Diet Good For Diabetics, in My Experience?
I lost a significant amount of weight on the Atkins diet in a relatively short space of time. What I found out later was that a lot of the weight I lost initially was just water retention. The theory is that as all the heavy carbs leave your body, such as potatoes, rice, bread, etc as does the water that was absorbed by those foods in your stomach.
However, if you stick to the Atkins diet, your body does start to burn fat as its primary energy source, which I started to see. As I said earlier, people with type 2 diabetes have to watch their carbs, so a diet like Atkins may suit them.
Calorie Counting is A Healthier Way
I think that observing your overall calorie intake is a more effective, proven, and healthier way to lose weight. I also think it is more sustainable than the Atkins diet over the longer term. If you have a sweet tooth or if you enjoy rice or bread or potatoes, you are going to struggle at some point doing the Atkins.
In a nutshell, is the Atkins diet good for diabetics? The answer is Yes. However, don’t misunderstand the formula — carbs should not be avoided anyway! The good kind of complex carbs with a medium to low GI should be chosen is whole grain bread and cereals. WhichChoose hopes this article has been helpful for you.
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