Diabetics should markedly restrict foods made with refined carbohydrates (flour or sugar). A recent study from the University of Cambridge shows that they should also restrict fat.

When a person eats, blood sugar levels rise. If they rise too high, sugar sticks to the surface membranes of cells and can't get off. Eventually, it is converted to a poison called sorbitol that destroys the cell to cause heart attacks, strokes, blindness, deafness, kidney failure, burning foot syndrome, impotence and all the side effects of diabetes.

A hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) blood test measures how much sugar is stuck on cells. High levels are usually associated with eating too much sugar and flour. This study shows that HbA1C is also raised by eating too much fat, particularly saturated fat. Before insulin can do its job of driving sugar into cells, it must first attach to a cells' insulin receptors. Eating too much fat causes these insulin receptors to turn inward and not be available, so insulin doesn't work as well and blood sugar levels rise. This causes more sugar to stick to the surface of cells and raises HbA1c levels. Therefore, diabetics should avoid both refined carbohydrates (bakery products, pastas, sugar-added foods) and concentrated sources of fat, such as meat, poultry, whole dairy products and all added fats.

Fat consumption and HbA(1c) levels - The EPIC-Norfolk Study. Diabetes Care, 2001, Vol 24, Iss 11, pp 1911-1916. AH Harding, LA Sargeant, A Welch, S Oakes, RN Luben, S Bingham, NE Day, KT Khaw, NJ Wareham.

Checked 8/8/05

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