Low-Carbohydrate Diets Unsafe

Studies Speak in Favor of Following Food Guide Pyramid

| Sep 1, 2000

Carl S. Lau of Los Angeles, California wrote in response to our July article on the Food Guide Pyramid, wanting to know what scientific evidence there was showing low-carbohydrate diets to be unsafe. Elizabeth Rhodes, RD, LD, author of our July piece, had this to say in reply:

I want to stress that the food pyramid advocates a certain amount of carbohydrates. Of course carbohydrates affect blood sugar, and the important thing to remember is that moderation is the key.

The Surgeon General has condemned diets high in protein and fat as being the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. This is of special concern to people with diabetes, who are two to four times more likely to get heart disease and five times more likely to have a stroke than those who do not have diabetes. More than 60 percent of type 2s have hypertension. Cardiovascular disease causes more than half of the deaths in older people with diabetes.

There is more research that deals with the detrimental effects of diets high in protein and saturated fats than there are studies that advocate a low-carbohydrate diet for people with diabetes. It should be noted, however, there are no long-term studies that I know of that indicate low-carbohydrate diets as being safe for people with diabetes.

At the national nutrition summit held this past June, the USDA announced they are launching a study of the Atkins and other fad diets. At the recent Great Nutrition Debate, Dr. Eric Westman from Durham, North Carolina, discussed the results of a limited, short-term study of low-carbohydrate diets which showed the significant increase in Blood Urea Nitrogen these diets caused in people with diabetes. Nitrogen is a waste product from protein, filtered by the kidneys. More than 30 percent of type 1s and 10 to 20 percent of type 2s will develop kidney disease, and the initial treatment to prevent further damage is a low-protein diet with less ketone production.

I base my recommendations on what has been proven safe and healthy for people with diabetes, which is not a diet that could potentially lead to heart disease, cancer and be detrimental to kidney function.

Elizabeth Rhodes, RN, LD
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diets, Food, Low Carb, Type 2 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.