Diabetics Should Think Twice Before Starting the Paleo Diet
There is no long-term evidence showing the benefits of the Paleo diet for those with type 2 diabetes, and it may actually do more harm than good.
Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos of the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, stated in the Medical Journal of Australia that those with type 2 diabetes should not get too hyped up about the Paleo diet that is being promoted in social media on dozens of websites. There have been only two trials worldwide of less than 20 participants, each with type 2 diabetes. One had no control diet, and neither of the trials lasted more than 12 weeks. Therefore, the long-term effects on diabetes sufferers and solid conclusions about the impact of glycemic control on weight were not determined.
Andrikopoulos states that the Paleo diet insists that people avoid refined sugar and processed food, which would be a positive benefit and consistent with worldwide dietary guidelines. However, it also advocates cutting out dairy and whole grains, which are important sources of calcium and fiber.
Some celebrities make matters worse, by also making the diet zero-carb and high-fat, which could cause rapid weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease. If a person is already overweight, or lives a sedentary life, it could be risky to adopt a high-fat diet and could actually be dangerous if he or she has diabetes.
Andrikopoulos believes that diabetes sufferers benefit most from exercise and the Mediterranean diet with its fats from fish, olive oil, legumes and low refined sugar. Additionally, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to beneficially impact post-meal blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as to reverse metabolic syndrome.
A knowledgable academic, Professor Andrikopoulos is also the President of the Australian Diabetes Society. His recommendation is that patients with type 2 diabetes consider the paleo diet claims with extreme caution and, instead, seek out the advice of their general practioners, other health care professionals, registered dietitians, and diabetes organizations.
Journal reference: Medical Journal of Australia