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Diabetes and the Paleo Diet

If you are diabetic, you will almost invariably be more focused on diet than most people. Feeling excluded from the type of diets others follow can leave you with a sense of frustration. The good news about the Paleo Diet is that you can not only follow it safely, but you may also benefit greatly from doing so.

The Paleo Diet does not include refined sugars and grains – a major cause of dangerous blood sugar level ‘spikes’. By removing these items from your diet, you will begin to feel better. The result is that you won’t have the same requirement for insulin and your body can work for you more productively in using the insulin that you do require. Since the Paleo Diet leads you away from processed, refined and additive-laden foods, you may find that you lose weight and begin to feel lighter and healthier quite quickly.

Health Benefits of Paleo for Diabetics

The health benefits for diabetics following the Paleo regime are so significant that some have been able to decrease their medication, or come off it altogether. That said, it is not a guarantee and it may not have that effect on every diabetes sufferer. However, it is certainly worth considering if you want to get healthier and reduce the level of strain on your body.

You may wish to look at a research study conducted by Kerin O’dea at the University of Melbourne, which tried an experiment with Aboriginal diabetic patients, who were put on a Paleo diet and monitored. The title of the research paper is “Marked Improvement in Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism in Diabetic Australian Aborigines After Temporary Reversion to Traditional Lifestyle”, which is a clue to the findings.

Those findings, in summary, were that fasting blood sugars fell dramatically, as well as after-meal sugar counts; fasting insulin levels dropped by almost half (from 23 to 12 mU/l); fasting triglycerides fell; HDL cholesterol fell too, but LDL cholesterol rose. It’s also worth noting that all of the participants lost weight on the diet: an average of 18 lb over the seven weeks. The move away from traditional paleo type diets in the native Aboriginal population has seen a substantial increase in health problems and diabetes.

Further Research

Kerin O’dea’s research is not conclusive and was only conducted for a period of seven weeks on fourteen participants, ten of whom were diabetic, with four as a control. But the findings were significant enough to warrant further investigation and researchers are now taking an increasing interest in the Paleo regime as an approach to diet related health problems.

One recent Swedish study is a paper entitled “Beneficial effects of a Palaeolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study”, which is published by Pub Med. Based upon a study period of 3 months, it concluded that the Palaeolithic diet improved a number of cardiovascular risk factors, together with glycaemic control in comparison with a Diabetes diet in patients with type 2 diabetes.’

It’s Safe!

As a diabetic you have much to gain and very little to lose, except excess weight, in following the Palaeolithic diet. Research findings are positive thus far. So why not study the eating guides on this site and perhaps discuss them with your doctor before deciding. It would be useful to hear about your experiences, so do please let us know how you get on.

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