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Type 2 Diabetes – Can Low-Carbohydrate Meals Lessen the Chance of Developing Diabetes?

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Insulin resistance is the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes. The pancreas makes an average or above average supply of insulin but it cannot effectively do its job of helping sugar enter the cells to make energy. Too much insulin resistance, abnormally high insulin levels, and high blood sugar levels in healthy people can put them at risk for developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes.

According to the online journal PLOS ONE, October 2016, healthy people can lower their insulin resistance by eating low-carbohydrate meals. Scientists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, United States, studied four groups of eight healthy women who had passed menopause. Each participant was given three meals, and her insulin resistance was measured.

Women eating three low-carbohydrate meals reduced their evening insulin levels by 39 percent, meaning their insulin resistance level was lowered. After physical activity, they reduced their insulin levels by 31 percent. Insulin resistance measured directly showed…

  • a 37 percent reduction after the third low-carbohydrate meal and
  • a 24 percent reduction after exercise.

Exercising before meals tended to raise evening blood sugar levels. It was also thought exercising before meals raised the insulin levels by inhibiting normal signals between rising blood sugar levels and the pancreas. Anyone can develop Type 2 diabetes. The following is a list of factors increasing the risk…

  1. Age – being over 45 puts people at a greater risk, although anyone, no matter their age, including children, can develop the condition.
  2. Being overweight or obese – height-to-weight ratio is critical. Body mass index (BMI) should be maintained between 18.5 and 24.9.
  3. Family history – having a mother, father, sister, or brother with Type 2 diabetes means one can carry the gene for the condition
  4. Leading a sedentary lifestyle – sitting in front of a computer or television all day is unhealthy for the entire body.
  5. Race –Native Americans, Samoans, Hispanics, and Blacks tend to be at high risk for reasons not yet understood.
  6. Prediabetes – fasting blood sugar levels of 100 to 124 mg/dL (5.5 mmol/L to 7 mmol/L) is abnormally high.
  7. Gestational diabetes – having diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy raises the mother’s risk of developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes during the next 5 to 10 years.

Prevention is possible. Let’s hear it for following a low-carbohydrate vegetarian eating plans three times a day. With that and the old standbys: lean weight and regular physical activity, lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes is a realistic goal.

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