Low Carb Ketogenic, Paleo And Atkins Diets Beat Drugs for Diabetes: Aid Weight Loss and Cancer

fried-egg low carb ketogenic diet aids diabetes, epilepsy and weight loss
Low-carb ketogenic-style diets beat drugs for managing diabetes, say experts. (Creative Commons)

By Samantha Chang

Low carb diets such as the ketogenic, Atkins and modified Paleo should be the first line of defense for treating diabetes because they often outperform drugs, according to 24 medical experts.

Low carb diets can eliminate the need for diabetes drugs because they work immediately to reduce high blood sugar, according to a report published in Nutrition.

The study co-authors included Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Duke University Obesity Clinic, Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State University, cancer researcher Dr. Eugene Fine, and Dr. Ann Childers, a specialist in pediatric psychiatry and nutrition.

After analyzing data from a cross-section of studies, these experts concluded a low-carb diet is the best treatment for diabetes because it effectively reduces pro-inflammatory blood sugar spikes without the unpleasant side effects (and cost) of drugs.

“The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well-documented,” wrote Dr. Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity.

Jackson Small, an 12-year-old epileptic boy, has been seizure-free for 4 years after adopting a ketogenic diet in which he consumed up to 90% fat. (Express/Instagram)

“Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, does not require weight loss, leads to the reduction or elimination of medication, and has never shown side effects comparable to those seen in many drugs,” explained Dr. Westman, a bariatric surgeon.

Dr. Jeff Volek, a registered dietitian, agreed. By drastically reducing carbs and replacing them with unprocessed fats, you can enjoy stable blood sugar and prevent degenerative illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, said Volek, a professor at Ohio State University.

“Carbohydrate restriction is the proverbial ‘silver bullet’ for managing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes,” said Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living.

Because dietary fat has a negligible impact on insulin, it doesn’t produce surges in blood glucose and blood insulin the way carbs does, said Volek. Reducing blood sugar spikes is critical for diabetics (and indeed, for everyone).

A nine-year-old boy reversed type 1 diabetes and got off insulin after following a ketogenic Paleo diet for 6 days. (Photos: IJCRI)

A nine-year-0ld boy with type 1 diabetes recently weaned himself off insulin after following a ketogenic Paleo diet for 6 days. The boy decided to try a keto-Paleo diet after insulin therapy proved ineffective.

The boy has now been on the ketogenic Paleo diet for 19 months, and has not needed insulin or other drugs, according to researchers at the University of Pécs in Hungary. Moreover, his eczema and bloated stomach disappeared, and he no longer gets upper respiratory tract infections.

Similarly, a woman named Elaine Cantin used the ketogenic diet to treat her son’s type I diabetes and her own aggressive breast cancer. She detailed her findings in her book, The Cantin Ketogenic Diet For Cancer, Type 1 & 2 Diabetes.

The health benefits of low-carb, high-fat diets extend beyond diabetes management.

Clinical trials show these diets reduce the risk of heart disease, accelerate weight loss, slows cellular aging, and can prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cancer by dramatically reducing pro-inflammatory blood sugar spikes.

Suzanne Ryan lost 92 pounds in 10 months with the ketogenic diet (Photos: Suzanne Ryan)

LCHF diets like the ketogenic plan have also been shown to manage advanced metastatic cancer. “The ketogenic diet shows promise as a way to manage some cancers,” said study co-author Dr. Fine.

Fine, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, echoed the sentiments of renowned cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried, whose decades of research suggest a ketogenic diet beats chemotherapy for almost all cancers.

“The ketogenic diet is a single metabolic approach to a multitude of different diseases,” said Dr. Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease.

jeff-volek-low-carb diet ketogenic
Carbohydrate restriction is the proverbial ‘silver bullet’ for preventing disease, says OSU professor Jeff Volek. (Photos: YouTube)

A recent study published in Epilepsy Today confirmed the efficacy of the ketogenic diet for preventing and reducing epilepsy-induced seizures among children.

Dr. David Ludwig, a physician and nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, said low-fat diets that emphasize calorie quantity over calorie quality have proven a dismal failure for long-term weight loss.

“Low-carb diets outperform a low-fat diet every time, and that wouldn’t be true if calories were the only measure that mattered,” said Ludwig, author of Always Hungry?

Ludwig joins a growing number of medical experts who are dispelling the myth that eating fat makes you fat and calorie restriction is best for weight loss. The way to lose weight is to prevent insulin spikes, which the LCHF Atkins and ketogenic diets do, they say.

“Insulin is the granddaddy of anabolic hormones,” said Dr. Ludwig.

Professor Thomas Seyfried of Boston College was among the first to advance the theory that cancer is not a genetic disease.

Eating refined carbs such as a 100-calorie pack of jelly beans (which are fat-free) produces a huge insulin spike that signals your fat cells to store calories. In contrast, eating 100 calories of nuts (which are high-fat and low-carb) will produce a negligible insulin spike.

You’ll also feel fuller, longer, after eating the nuts, while the jelly beans will make your blood sugar surge and promptly crash, causing you to quickly feel hungry again.

Surges in blood sugar and insulin contribute to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cellular aging and cancer. By curbing these inflammation-promoting spikes with a low-carb, high-fat diet such as Atkins or ketogenic, you can prevent several diseases all at once.

Related: Ketogenic diet beats chemotherapy for almost all cancers says Thomas Seyfried


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