What is the link between the Atkins Diet and diabetes control? It’s a very strong tie between the way the Atkins diet helps you lose weight and how this affects insulin levels in the human body. If you are on the Atkins Diet plan for any length of time, you will discover that your blood sugar levels even out, which is the ultimate goal of treating diabetes.
But how and why does this happen? When Dr. Atkins first developed his approach to weight loss, he had two goals in mind, not just one. He wanted to help people lose weight, but he also wanted them to get their bodies’ metabolism into a more efficient fuel-burning mode that stabilized insulin levels in the body. Insulin levels are directly tied to the development of diabetes in many people.
The low carb Atkins Diet and diabetes are incompatible because the diet helps eliminate hyperinsulinism, a major factor in the disease. If you stay on the Atkins Diet to lose weight and then use the Atkins Maintenance Program to maintain a healthy weight, you will discover that your blood sugar and insulin levels are much more stable.
How the Body Processes Carbohydrates
The body processes carbohydrates differently than either protein or fats. It quickly converts carbs to sugars (glucose) to be used as fuel. What isn’t used for fuel is stored in the body as fat. Insulin is the hormone that transports glucose to the cells as well as stabilizing the glucose levels in the bloodstream.
The problem with this is that in most people, when the carbs enter your body, you produce a surge of insulin to moderate glucose level – and often you end up producing too much insulin. You then feel tired and begin craving carbohydrates or sugars to stabilize the over-abundance of insulin. It’s a vicious cycle that ends up causing you to eat too much food that packs on weight.
If you stay on a low carb diet with more proteins and fats, however, you don’t produce nearly as much insulin, so you aren’t having those blood sugar swings. With more stable blood sugar and insulin levels, you crave fewer foods and feel satisfied for longer periods of time. Your energy level is also better.
Use the Atkins diet and diabetes type 2 can be easily controlled. Why? Because you aren’t producing excessive levels of insulin. Your body can burn proteins and fats (including stored body fat) without needing to produce a lot of insulin, so blood sugar levels remain constant.
Type 2 Diabetes is Preventable
It has been proven that most people with Type 2 diabetes develop it from improper eating habits. While there is a genetic tendency toward it, not all people develop it unless their diets contribute to it. If you catch this in the pre-diabetes stage, you can use a low carb diet like Atkins to help stabilize insulin production and prevent the progression to Diabetes Type 2.
Dr. Atkins treated over 5,000 patients who were Type 2 diabetics in the 1980’s. The vast majority of them were able to stop taking oral insulin and other medications meant to stabilize their blood sugar because the diet itself was preventing fluctuations in blood sugar and over-production of insulin.
The Atkins Diet and Diabetes Type 1 aren’t incompatible, but the diet can’t cure this form of the disease. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that usually occurs in childhood or when you are a young adult. In this form of diabetes, the body attacks the pancreas so that it produces little or no insulin. No diet in the world can make your pancreas work again, so you will always need to take insulin in some form. The Atkins Diet can, however, stabilize blood sugars so that the insulin works more efficiently.
Fortunately, 90% of diabetics have Type 2, which can be controlled with a diet like the Atkins diet Program. After several weeks on the diet, you should have your doctor check your blood sugar and insulin levels. You may be delighted to hear that all are within the normal range for the first time in years.
Also see my articles on Atkins Diet Health Risks