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Low-Carb Diets Don't Raise Diabetes Risk in Women

But high dietary glycemic load associated with an increased risk of the disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Low-carbohydrate diets do not appear to increase a woman's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to an article published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Thomas L. Halton, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined data from 85,059 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study, in order to examine the association between diets with low-carbohydrate scores and risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Over the 20-year follow-up period, 4,670 new cases of type 2 diabetes were documented. After adjustment for body mass index and other variables, the relative risk (RR) of diabetes did not differ significantly in the highest decile of low-carbohydrate diet scores versus the lowest (RR, 0.90). However, high dietary glycemic load was strongly associated with increased risk of diabetes in the highest versus lowest deciles (RR, 2.47). In addition, high carbohydrate consumption was associated with an increased risk of diabetes in the highest versus lowest deciles of intake (RR 1.26).

"These data suggest that diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in fat and protein do not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. In fact, diets rich in vegetable sources of fat and protein may modestly reduce the risk of diabetes," the authors conclude.

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