Low-carb Diet Is Beneficial For Type 2 Diabetes

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Low-carb Diet Is Beneficial For Type 2 Diabetes
Low-carb Diet Is Beneficial For Type 2 Diabetes

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Low-carb diet is beneficial for type 2 diabetes

Reducing carbohydrates, along with increasing protein and fat, improves the ability of patients with type 2 diabetes to regulate blood sugar, a Danish study shows.

Low-carb diet is beneficial for type 2 diabetes
Low-carb diet is beneficial for type 2 diabetes

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Patients with type 2 diabetes improve glycemic control (the ability to regulate blood sugar) if their diet is characterized by a lower carbohydrate content with an increased protein and fat content, researchers from the Danish Bispebjerg Hospital, together with researchers from Aarhus and Copenhagen universities, found. The findings, published in Diabetologia, contradict generally accepted dietary guidelines for type 2 diabetics.

Diet therapy is essential for optimal management of type 2 diabetes, but there are currently no clear guidelines. According to the Danish Health Authority, up to 85% of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients are overweight. Usually they are advised to follow a diet for weight loss: calorie consumption in excess of their intake, low fat and high carbohydrate content, which have a low "glycemic index" (a measure of the effect of carbohydrates in food on changes in blood sugar).

The study, which lasted 12 weeks, involved 28 patients with type 2 diabetes at Bispebjerg Hospital. For 6 weeks, patients followed a standard diabetic diet, and for another 6 weeks, a diet low in carbohydrates, high in protein and moderately high in fat. The types of diets were assigned at random.

“The aim of our study was to examine the effect of a diet without the“hindrance”of weight loss. Our findings are important because we removed weight loss from the equation. Previous studies have drawn conflicting findings, and weight loss has made interpretation difficult in some of these studies,”explained senior study consultant ThureKrarup.

A central aspect in the management of type 2 diabetes is glycemic control. The researchers found that a diet low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and moderately high in fat improved glycemic control by lowering post-meal blood sugar and "long-term blood sugar" (measurement of glycated hemoglobin HbA1c - the average blood sugar level over last two months).

In addition, following such a diet lowers liver fat and has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism. It is beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes, even if it does not lead to weight loss.

Based on the growing body of evidence, dietary guidelines for patients with type 2 diabetes should be revised, the researchers emphasized.

“By reducing the proportion of carbohydrates in the diet and increasing the proportion of protein and fat, you can simultaneously treat high blood sugar and reduce liver fat. Further intensive research is needed to optimize our dietary recommendations for patients with type 2 diabetes,”concluded Toure Krarup.

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