What Are the Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet for Diabetics?

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  • Written By: Lynda Lampert
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2020
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There is much disagreement about a low-carbohydrate diet for diabetics, but there are many benefits for any person with diabetes who is able to control his or her calorie intake with this strategy. The greatest benefit for diabetics is the ability to control blood sugar levels with less reliance on outside controls such as medication or injectable insulin. Weight loss is a pleasant side effect of a low-carb diet for diabetics. Insulin resistance, which is a cell's refusal to react to insulin in the body, is decreased as well. Also, the side effects of diabetes, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and kidney impairment, are decreased because the body is better able to use glucose on a low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet for diabetics focuses on keeping glucose low. Any carbohydrate — such as candy bars, fruits, breads or pasta — is eventually turned into sugar. Eating any of these will raise one's blood sugar. By sticking to a low-carb intake, a diabetic controls the amount of glucose that is put into his or her bloodstream. For this reason, the diabetic's blood glucose will not be as high as it would if he or she ate the carbohydrates, and he or she does not need as much medications to control his or her glucose.


Eating a low-carb diet for diabetics usually will result in a decreased calorie intake, and this results in weight loss. Weight loss is of tremendous benefit to diabetics because is helps control blood sugar and the other side effects of diabetes. It is important when dieting in this way that proper nutrition is maintained by taking vitamins, but reduced-carb diets can provide for a wide range of foods, depending on the diet plan.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells have become immune to the effects of insulin. For this reason, it usually takes more and more insulin to lower high blood sugar, and that is the downward spiral of diabetes. A low-carb diet for diabetics helps fight this phenomenon by decreasing the overall amount of glucose in the blood. There is less glucose, so there is less insulin bombarding the cells. The cells then become more sensitive when insulin is released into the bloodstream and can react more normally to the hormone.

Diabetes has many side effects that are devastating to the patient, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and impaired kidney function. Following a low-carb diet for diabetics will decrease a person's blood sugar, lower his or her weight and sensitize his or her body to the effects of insulin once again. This will allow his or her body to return to a more normal state. The cells of the body function properly only when the blood sugar is within a normal range. This is a low-carb diet's biggest benefit of all: the relief from diabetic side effects.


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