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Diabetes patients must cut carb intake, say experts

Cutting carbohydrate intake should be the primary strategy for treating diabetes as it is the single most effective approach for reducing all features of the metabolic syndrome according to experts.

Benefits of cutting out foods like crisps, chips, cakes and sugary drinks occur even in the absence of weight loss, say Dr Aseem Malhotra from the Department of Cardiology, Frimley Park Hospital, Timothy Noakes from the Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, and Stephen Phinney from the School of Medicine, University of California Davis, in an editorial for the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The prevalence of diabetes increases 11-fold for every 150 additional sugar calories consumed daily, compared with the equivalent amount of calories consumed as fat, they say.

“Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger. Fat calories induce fullness or satiation,” they write. 

The editorial also slammed public health messaging as 'unhelpfully focused' on maintaining a 'healthy weight' through calorie counting rather than on the source of the calories which is the important factor.

They continue to say that our calorie-laden diets now generate more ill health than physical inactivity, alcohol, and smoking combined.

The evidence now suggests that up to 40% of those within a normal weight (BMI) range will none the less harbour harmful metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity.