If you have diabetes, your doctor probably has you on a high-protein, low-carb diet. While these diets can lower your blood sugar, there's also a dark side to these diets.

Many high-protein, low-carb diets are high in saturated fat. And there's now a substantial amount of evidence that shows saturated fat can make diabetes worse. 

In fact, even if you don't have diabetes, eating too much saturated fat could cause you to develop the disease.

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Hot off the research press is a report that fat disrupts the enzyme GnT-4a. This key enzyme is what enables the insulin-producing cells of your pancreas to sense the amount of sugar in your blood. Fat will prevent these cells from sensing high blood sugar. So too much fat will cause them to produce inadequate insulin.

Lead author Dr. Jamey Marth writes, "Our findings suggest that the current human epidemic in type-2 diabetes may be a result of GnT-4a enzyme deficiency."

This isn't the first time researchers linked saturated fat to diabetes. Back in 1935, Dr. I.M. Rabinowitch proved that limiting your fat intake can actually reverse diabetes. He divided 100 insulin-dependent diabetics into two equal groups. The first group maintained the American Diabetic Association diet (56% fat), while the second group reduced fat intake to 21%.

After five years, 24% of those on the low-fat diet no longer needed insulin, compared to 8% on the high-fat diet. In the low-fat group, those who still needed insulin had reduced their need by an average of 58%.

So if you're on a low-carb diet like Atkins, beware of too much fat - it could spell serious trouble. I know many of you swear by these diets and have seen substantial weight loss. If you want to remain on this diet, please make sure you severely limit the amount of saturated fat you eat. That means you'll need to focus on chicken, fish, and other lean meats for most of your protein.

Looking for something better? My experience shows that the best way to treat type-2 diabetes is with a diet made up of 80% complex carbs (vegetables, low-glycemic fruits and grains, but not starches and sugars), 10% fat, and 10% protein. I've seen this diet work miracles in every single case where the patient follows the diet closely. And I'm certain it can work for you.

Ref: Cell, December 29, 2005.

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