A new study on Asian Americans helps to show that switching to a higher fat and protein Western diet [thus much LOWER in carbohydrates than the traditional diet] increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the study, the researchers had to re-adjust calories to PREVENT people from losing weight on the traditional Asian diet which consists of 70% of calories from carbohydrates, 15% from protein and 15% from fat, and providing 15 g fiber/1,000 kcal. Furthermore, when people switched to this higher carb/higher fiber diet, LDL levels dropped, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Almost all participants GAINED WEIGHT on the higher protein and fat Western diet: 50% of calories from carbohydrates, 16% from protein and 34% from fat, and providing 6 g fiber/1,000 kcal. One of the researchers stated: "It was almost impossible to prevent people from losing weight on the Asian diet, and that was not because the food wasn't good!" he says. "And almost everybody gained weight on the western diet, and we had to work very hard so they didn't gain too much." Moreover, insulin resistance increased significantly when switching from the Asian diet to the Western. This study goes to prove it is the quality of those calories and fiber content coming from food that matters, not necessarily how high or low carb it is for weight loss and health.
William C. Hsu, Ka Hei Karen Lau, Motonobu Matsumoto, Dalia Moghazy, Hillary Keenan, George L. King. Improvement of Insulin Sensitivity by Isoenergy High Carbohydrate Traditional Asian Diet: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Feasibility Study. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (9): e106851 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106851