|Which is better - the rock or the hard place?|
1) The rock:
This is serum glucose. People with type 2 diabetes can measure their own serum glucose. Eating carbohydrates makes serum glucose increase, the rate of increase being proportional to the glycaemic index and the magnitude of the increase being proportional to the grams of carbs consumed. By limiting the intake of dietary carbohydrates, large spikes in serum glucose can be avoided. The occasional spike above 7.8mmol/L (140mg/dL) doesn't hurt. It's spending long periods of time above 7.8mmol/L that's harmful (by glycation).
A low-carb diet (~100g/day of carbohydrate) halves serum glucose fluctuations compared to a higher-carb diet (~200g/day of carbohydrate). A very-low-carb diet (~50g/day of carbohydrate) further halves serum glucose fluctuations compared to the low-carb diet. This seems like an improvement, at first glance.
2) The hard place:
This is the invisible "elephant in the room", as it's not measured by doctors and people with type 2 diabetes can't measure it themselves. It's serum Non-Esterified Fatty Acids, or NEFAs (a.k.a. Free Fatty Acids, or FFAs). Serum NEFAs are high when fasting and fall after eating foods that raise serum insulin (carbs & certain proteins). People with type 2 diabetes and excessive visceral fat (belly fat) have higher-than-normal serum NEFAs due to adipocyte insulin resistance (IR). See Insulin Resistance: Solutions to problems.
Just like with serum glucose, there's nothing wrong with serum NEFAs going up & down. It's chronically-high serum NEFAs that's harmful (except during periods of caloric restriction). See Showing posts sorted by relevance for query NEFA "type 2 diabetes" .
See Fig. 1 in Lack of suppression of circulating free fatty acids and hypercholesterolemia during weight loss on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. On a very-low-carb (less than 50g/day carbs) diet that's not calorie-restricted, serum insulin remains low all of the time. To insulin-haters, that sounds like a good thing. Unfortunately, it means that there is no insulin spike to suppress serum NEFAs by shifting the balance of NEFAs going in/coming out of fat cells. Serum NEFAs stay high all of the time, which is harmful.
Therefore, people who have type 2 diabetes and excessive visceral fat and who are permanently on a very-low-carb diet that's not calorie-restricted are harming themselves.