Every year there is a no fad diet that hits society. Thanks to social media, workout videos, and infomercials on TV, these fad diets can quickly saturate the market. One of the biggest diets floating around right now is the paleo diet. The paleo diet’s goal is to mimic a primal diet or a diet that early humans would eat. While it sounds simple enough, a recent article has suggested that diabetics should avoid this diet and others like it.
The study, which was released in The Medical Journal of Australia, states that even though the paleo diet sounds like an excellent idea for diabetics, it could do more harm than good. The diet essentially boils down to a “hunter-gatherer diet”, which means avoiding dairy, refined sugars, anything processed, grains, and much more. Instead is promotes eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grass-fed meats. Sounds like a great diet for diabetics, right? Avoid sugars and eat vegetables.
In the article, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne Sof Andrikopoulos suggests that diabetics should stay away from this diet. The diet sounds like it could be the perfect health regimen for diabetics, but Andrikopoulos says that there isn’t any research to back up the claims, which means that until there is, diabetics should continue to eat a “normal’ healthy diet. Aside from being an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, he is also the head of the Australian Diabetes Society, meaning that he isn’t new to the diabetic community.
The article doesn’t say that there is necessarily anything “wrong” with the diet, but with such little information, we should always be careful before drastically changing eating habits. Because of the severe consequences that unmanaged diabetes can have, it’s extremely vital to always maintain a healthy diet.
The few studies that have been done to see the effects of a paleo diet on diabetics have been positive, they have all been small-scale and short. One study, which was out of Sweden, compared a paleo diet with a traditional diabetes guidelines diet using 13 different participants with a BMI considered obese. The study showed that both of the diets were effective, but the paleo diet had better results when lowering BMI and A1C levels.
With studies like this, it’s hard to argue against all diabetics starting a paleo diet tomorrow, the author of the article still isn’t convinced of the effects of the fad diet. The article states that all of the studies looking at the diet were either too short, too small of a sample group, or didn’t have controlled or randomized samples. All of these things are needed to strictly state the relationship between diabetes and paleo diet. “Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease, so we need studies that are very long term – many years – so show that a particular intervention, whether it’s a diet or lifestyle, is effective, durable, and whether people can stick to it.”
The diabetic community knows the importance of a balanced and healthy diet, but it’s important not to get sucked into new fad diets that could harm our bodies. If you are planning on starting a new diet or drastically changes yours, it’s important to consult your doctor or a trained nutritionist. Diets are one of the building blocks for healthy glucose levels, don’t leave your health up to chance. Always maintain a safe and balanced diet.