Term Paper: Efficacy of High Protein Low

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[. . .] 55 kilograms and 4.5 kilograms more than people on the standard high-carbohydrate approach. He noted another factor that came in as a surprise- the Atkins dieters' cholesterol levels also improved. Although the bad cholesterol went up seven points, their good cholesterol rose almost 12. Correspondingly in the high-carbohydrate dieters though the bad cholesterol went down slightly the good cholesterol remained unchanged. Yet another improvement was seen in triglycerides as the Atkins dieters' reduced by 22 points. The fact that Atkins diet reduces the triglycerides, thereby increasing the cardiovascular health has also been extensively researched and established [Yancy, Bakst, Bryson, et al., 2001]

Two studies had been reported in the 'New England Journal of Medicine' provide additional evidence that Atkins diet possibly was more effective for weight loss, and perhaps produced positive metabolic changes, than the low-fat and calorie restricted diets. In the first study, 64 obese subjects prone to overeating with either diabetes or metabolic syndrome - were put to a low-carbohydrate diet or to a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet. The report says that while neither group had remarkable weight loss, those on the low-carbohydrate diet lost considerably more weight than those on the low-fat diet. Also, the low-carbohydrate diet produced lower triglyceride levels and a greater improvement in insulin sensitivity [Samaha et al., 2003]. In the second study, 63 obese were put to test randomly with either Atkins diet or a conventional low-calorie diet. It was found that those on the Atkins diet lost appreciably more weight during the immediate 6-month period, though in a period of one year the difference in weight loss between the two groups were found similar. However, the study reports that patients on the Atkins diet had a considerable increase in their HDL cholesterol levels and a major decrease in triglyceride levels, during the entire course of the study [Foster et al., 2003]

All this research proves that restriction of carbohydrates is more important than the control of fat intake if diabetes is to be controlled. Low carbohydrate foods are characterized by their lower content of direct and indirect sugars. In addition, there is a high percentage of roughages or fiber, which aids in digestion and assimilation of nutrients. In addition, a high amount of protein ensures that the satiation levels of the patient are kept high so that craving for food does not occur. Research also shows that restricting fat in the diet causes craving, which may lead to overeating, while restriction of sugars causes a curtailing of surplus energy in the body. When more carbohydrates are consumed, they are in turn converted to fat in the body which in turn causes the reduction of insulin sensitivity. Consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet by a person with Type 2 diabetes will lead to high levels of triglycerides that carbohydrate becomes an excess rather than being converted to fatty acids, and that extra glucose is responsible for creating more fat [Stein, 2000]. When carbohydrates are reduced in the diet, the body turns to the existing reserves of energy in the body to derive energy. That is why a good exercise regimen coupled with a low carbohydrate food intake can work wonders for the patient.

Potential hazards of low carbohydrate diet

Even though a low carbohydrate food is recommended for diabetic patients, it can also cause some problems and medical unimagined complications for the patient. For example the risk of Kidney stones, a tendency to lose more weight than what is required, lack of adequate nutrition, missing out on essential vitamins that may be present in high carbohydrate foods, ketosis, loss of calcium from the bones, possible osteoporosis due to rapid weight loss, altered calcium metabolism, dehydration due to the diuretic effect of most low carbohydrate foods, halitosis, constipation, and initial fatigue are some of the common conditions associated with a low carbohydrate diet. In addition, renal failures can occur due to the increase in protein intake, particularly if the patient has a history of renal problems. Similarly, the patient's dependence on meat products can cause hyperlipidemia and increase the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer [Michael G. Burke, 2003]

Appropriateness of Low carbohydrate diet for Type 2 diabetic patients

It would be immature at this point to say whether a low carbohydrate food is ideal for type 2 patients or whether it needs to be completely ignored. However, the low carbohydrate food supporters have been able to voice the fact that a high fat diet does not necessarily cause weight gain. In fact it has been proved beyond doubt that carbohydrates are the principle cause for many of the diseases in patients. As of now a thorough research needs to be conducted to conclusively prove whether a low carbohydrate high protein diet is good for the body. However, current data does suggest that a low carbohydrate diet has more benefits than bad effects on type 2 diabetic patients, mainly because it has been successfully demonstrated to control body weight.

Most experts believe that while instructing patients to follow a trendy diet is ill-advised, supporting moderate restriction of carbohydrates -- below the 60% recommended by the USDA-- and tailoring meal plans to patients' individual needs are safe practices that can have positive results. The challenge, as with any healthy modification, is motivating patients to adopt the regimen as one of a series of long-term lifestyle changes." [Stacy DiLoreto, Louis J. Aronne, Joel S. Edman, Walter C. Willett


An authoritative decision can be made only after adequate research that looks into various aspects like the types of diabetic cases, the type of carbohydrates and their effects on the body, the effect of sustained protein over-exposure, the increase in fats in the diets and of course the difference in ethnicity that may make certain people more prone to the disease.


Works Cited

Author not known 1, (2002), The prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes, Diabetes care, Issue: April, 2002

Author not known 2, (2003), Prevention of type 2 diabetes: what is it really?, Diabetes care, Issue: April, 2003

Osei Kwamei, (2001), The Relationship Between Insulin Sensitivity and Macronutrients in High-Risk African-Americans, ISHIB2001 Plenary Session, Las Vegas

Author not known 3, (2002), Dietary fat and the development of type 2 diabetes, Diabetes Care, Issue: March, 2002

Foster GD, et. al. A Randomized (2003) Trial Of A Low-Carbohydrate Diet For Obesity. New England Journal of Medicine 2003 May 22;348 (21):2082-2090.

Sondike, S.B., Copperman, N.M., Jacobson, M.S., (2000) Low Carbohydrate Dieting Increases Weight Loss but not Cardiovascular Risk in Obese Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Adolescent Health, 26, 2000,-page 91.

Samaha FF, et. al. (2003) A Low-Carbohydrate As Compared With A Low-Fat Diet In Severe Obesity. New England Journal of Medicine 2003 May 22; 348(21): 2074-2081.

Yancy, W.S., Bakst, R., Bryson, W., et al., (2001) Effects of a Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diet Program Compared With a Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol, Reduced Calorie Diet, October 7, 2001, North American Association for the Study of Obesity Annual Meeting, Quebec City, Canada.

Stein Karen, (2000), High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets: Do they work? Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Issue: July, 2000

Michael G. Burke, (2003), How effective is a low-carb diet for teenagers? Contemporary Pediatrics, Issue: June, 2003

Stacy DiLoreto, Louis J. Aronne, Joel S. Edman, Walter C. Willett (2001), Advising patients about low-carbohydrate diets, Patient Care, Issue: June 15, 2001

General references

Ludwig DS, Majzoub JA, Al-Zahrani A, et al. (1999) High glycemic index foods, overeating, and obesity. Pediatrics. 1999:103:E26.

Georgopoulos A, Bantle JP. Noutsou M, et al. (2000) A high carbohydrate vs. A high monounsaturated fatty acid diet lowers the atherogenic potential of big VLDL particles in patients with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Nutrition. 2000:130: 2503-2507.

Gutierrez M, Akhavan M, Jovanovic L, et al. (1998) Utility of a short-term 25% carbohydrate diet on improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of American College of Nutrition. 1998:17:595-600.

Anderson RA. (1998) Chromium glucose intolerance and diabetes. Journal of American College of Nutrition. 1998:17:548-555.

Raeini-Sarjaz M, Vanstone CA, Papamandjaris AA, et al. (2001) Comparison of the effect of dietary fat restriction with that of energy restriction on human lipid metabolism. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001:73:262-267.

McLaughlin FA, Abbasi F, Lamendola C, et al. (2000) Carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia: an insight into the link between plasma insulin and triglyceride concentrations. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2000:85:3085-3088.

Golay A, Eigenheer C, Morel Y, et al. (1996)… [END OF PREVIEW]

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