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The Calorie Control Council - commentary f 02 (Page 7)

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The Calorie Control Council - commentary f 02
Researchers from
the National
Institute of
Diabetes and
Digestive and
Kidney Diseases
found that people
already at risk of
diabetes who
changed their
lifestyle (by
eating a low-fat
diet, exercising
and losing
weight), reduced
their risk of
diabetes by 58
Low-Fat Diet Aids in Managing Diabetes
Exercise and a Low-Fat Diet Reduce Risk of Diabetes More than Medication
recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates
that eating a low-fat diet, increasing your exercise and losing
weight may be more effective in reducing the risk of diabetes than
medication. Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that people already at
risk of diabetes who changed their lifestyle (by eating a low-fat diet,
exercising and losing weight), reduced their risk of diabetes by
58 percent. They also found that a change in lifestyle was more
effective than taking a commonly prescribed medication for
diabetes. Those who used the medication only reduced their
risk by 31 percent.
A weight loss of seven percent in addition to walking for 2.5
hours per week (at a brisk pace) were enough to result in benefits.
The average weight loss in the group that changed their habits was
12 pounds. The researchers found that men and women in all
ethnic and racial groups who made lifestyle changes saw similar
effects. The lifestyle intervention was effective not only in young
participants, but older participants as well, the researchers com-
mented. The researchers calculated that for every seven people
who are at risk of diabetes but change their lifestyle, one case
of diabetes could be prevented every three years. Currently,
approximately 10 million people in the U.S. have an above
average risk of diabetes.
Low-Fat Diet Now Part of ADA's New Nutrition Guidelines
In related news, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recently
released new nutrition guidelines regarding diabetes. The ADA
noted that a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables may be
as effective as some drugs when it comes to preventing and treating
type 2 diabetes. Previously it was believed that carbohydrates from
foods such as cookies, cakes, potatoes, pasta, etc., could cause dan-
gerous elevations in blood glucose levels. However, the ADA now
notes that although these types of foods have a higher glycemic
index, studies
have not conclu-
sively shown any
benefit for follow-
ing a low glycemic
index diet over a
high glycemic
index diet.
Because of this, the guidelines do not support
diets that focus on specific foods that may cause an
increase in blood sugar levels. The ADA also noted
that fad diets, such as high protein, low-carbohy-
drate diets have not been proven to be safe over a
long-term period. The ADA reported that high pro-
tein diets may be harmful to the kidneys and tend
to be high in fat. The ADA encouraged all people
(with or without diabetes) to follow an eating plan
that includes fiber-rich foods such as whole grains,
fruits and vegetables. The guidelines also place an
emphasis on weight loss as well as physical activity,
both of which have been shown to improve insulin
sensitivity. Weight loss and physical activity can also
help control blood sugar levels in people who are
overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
American Diabetes Association. "Evidence-Based Nutrition
Principles and Recommendations for the Treatment and
Prevention of Diabetes and Related Complications." Diabetes Care,
2002, 25; 202-212.
Knowler, W., et al., "Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes
with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin." New England Journal
of Medicine, 2002, 346; 393-403.
Rostler, Suzanne, "New Dietary Guidelines for Diabetes Released."
Reuters Health, December 27, 2001.
cream, baked goods and fruit spreads, toothpastes, mouthwashes, cough
syrups and cough drops. However, polyols differ from low-calorie sweet-
eners (which are used in very small amounts) in that they are measured
cup-for-cup [volume-for-volume] in the same amount as sugar is used.
There are currently several polyols on the market including erythritol,
hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol,
sorbitol and xylitol. The caloric contribution varies from 0.2 calories per
gram to 3 calories per gram. Polyols not only provide fewer calories than
sugar, but they also aid in maintaining oral health. Polyols do not pro-
mote tooth decay because bacteria in the mouth cannot easily change
polyols to acids that can damage teeth. In fact, the American Dental
Association has issued a statement noting that the organization "strongly
recommends that major efforts be made... to promote the use of sugar-
free foods or chewing substances in place of sugar-containing food that
involve a frequent intake or repeated oral use... use of these sugar-free
foods will contribute to improved oral health." Additionally the Food and
Drug Administration has authorized the use of the "does not promote
tooth decay" health claim for food products containing a polyol or a com-
bination of polyols.
The "Low Down" on Low-Calorie Sweeteners
(continued from page 5)

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