How Does Atkins Diet Help Diabetes?

If you have type 2 Diabetes, losing weight can benefit you in many ways. Aside from lowering your blood glucose, losing weight can also lead to reduced blood pressure and cholesterol level. One of the strictest low carbohydrate diets is Atkins diet. Those who follow the Atkins diet are only allowed to consume 20 grams of carbs each day during the first phase. The allowable carbohydrates consumption may increase as you meet some of your weight lost goals. But is this diet safe for diabetics? Read on to find out.


Weight Loss

Those who have diabetes can lose weight with the Atkins Diet. However, it can be difficult to maintain the weight loss in the long run. A study done with 34 overweight individuals who have Type 2 Diabetes showed that those who have gone through the Atkins Diet have lost about 5.5 percent of weight in only three months.

However, another 2008 study published in Nutrition and Metabolism, has shown that those who opted for the low carb diet have regained much of their weight within a year.

Blood Glucose Level

The Atkins Diet has been shown to consistently lower blood glucose level for those with Type 2 Diabetes. This may be due to the fact that losing weight can actually result in lower blood glucose. The virtual elimination of food has led to the decrease of blood glucose due to the strict limitation on carbohydrates consumption.


In one study, 44 percent of the participants who have followed the Atkins like diet plan were able to stop taking their diabetes medication. In comparison, only 11 percent of those who have adhered to the medium carbohydrate and calorie-restricted diet were able to stop their diabetes medication. Another study published in Nutrition and Metabolism focused on comparing the Atkins diet to a low glycemic, low calorie diet. The study found that 95 percent of diabetes participants on the Atkins diet were able to stop administering their diabetes medication whereas only 62 percent of the participants on the latter diet managed to stop their diabetes medication.

Cholesterol Level

The high percentage of calories that come from fats under the Atkins Diet has however raised concerns. This is because of the heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases, which is already a concern for diabetes patients.

However, short-term studies have indicated no apparent increase in fat for diabetes patients who are under the Atkins diet. The ADA also notes that low carb diets such as the Atkins diets may only be effective for a year. As such, they recommend that diabetic patients should monitor their blood fat levels while under this diet.

Whether you opt for Atkins diet or other weight loss plans, always consult your doctor. It is also important to note that the change in your weight and diet may also have some effects on your diabetes medications.

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