Type II Diabetes Prevention and Potential Reversal While understanding type II diabetes can seem a bit daunting - it's ultimately due to the death of ones insulin secreting cells. What kills these cells? Basically having to work too hard. In essence, our high carbohydrate diets put a lot of strain on our insulin secreting cells (which were engineered in Paleo times) and over the course of a lifetime, this overstimulation ultimately leads to their death. So, given this reality, it makes sense that eating fewer carbohydrates, and reducing the work-load on these cells, can help to keep them going for a lot longer. So, in essence, by eating a low-carbohydrate diet, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood that you'll develop Type II diabetes. Perhaps even more remarkably, a number of reports have found that low-carbohydrate, and ketogenic, diets can even reverse this disease in some cases. So eating a low-carbohydrate diet is a great way to stave off diabetes, and all of the serious health consequences that go along with it such as blindness, amputations and kidney disease, to name a few.
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention While it may seem counterintuitive, eating a higher fat, lower-carbohydrate diet is a great way to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Numerous studies have found that reduced carbohydrate and ketogenic diets dramatically lower many of the factors that are associated with developing CVD (x,y,z). Namely, they impact three factors known as the atherogenic triad, i.e. high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar levels and low HDL. Reduced carbohydrate diets impact al three of these factors in a beneficial way by:
reducing plasma glucose levels
Since elevated triglycerides and plasma glucose levels are strongly associated with an increased risk for CVD, this is a good thing. Moreover, HDL basically works like a vacuum cleaner in your blood vessels, suctioning up cholesterol and other components of atherosclerotic plaque, so increasing levels of HDL is highly cardioprotective. Taken together, since low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets have a big impact on all three of these factors, they can markedly reduce your risk for having a cardiovascular event. That said, eating a low carbohydrate diet doesn't mean that you shouldn't still monitor your cardiovascular health by getting regular check ups, and if you ever experience any of the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke, seek immediate emergency care.
Alzheimer's Risk Reduction One of the newest findings in the low-carbohydrate research realm, is that reduced carbohydrate, and ketogenic diets in particular, may be able to reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. While the science behind this process is still being worked out, preliminary studies are showing that reduced carbohydrate diets can significantly reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer's via a process that's been termed Type III diabetes. It turns out Alzheimer's, just like diabetes, can be influenced by blood sugar levels. Studies are finding that Alzheimer's actually starts decades before people are aware of any symptoms. One of the first things that happens is that brain cells stop taking up glucose as efficiently as should, in a process referred to as glucose hypometabolism. When brain cells don't get the fuel they need, they don't function as well, and can even die. One thing that seems to cause brain cells to enter into this process is, as counterintuitive as it may seem, a high blood glucose level.