This 12 month trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the benefits of two low kilojoule eating plans, in combination with three supervised aerobic and resistance exercise sessions per week.
Participants in the trial were adults living with type 2 diabetes who were obese (using BMI scale).
One eating plan had lower carbohydrate, higher protein and unsaturated fats, the other had the same kilojoules, but a more traditional ratio of carbohydrate/protein/unsaturated fats.
Both eating plans showed some really positive results:
Reduction in body weight
Reduced fasting glucose
The low carbohydrate diet showed some additional benefits – greater reductions in their diabetes medication requirements, greater improvements in their blood lipid profile and better blood glucose stability.
Previous studies have indicated that restrictive diets can be difficult to adhere to. In this study, the participants in the low carbohydrate group had increased their carbohydrate intake by a small amount by the end of the 12 month period.
This study provides great evidence that intensive interventions result in real benefits for people with diabetes – and hopefully demonstrates the need to governments for funding for such interventions on a larger scale.
It also shows some exciting potential for well-balanced lower carbohydrate diets as one possible intervention for people with type 2 diabetes, and we look forward to seeing further longer term studies to support this.
If you are considering adopting a reduced carbohydrate diet, we encourage you to seek information and support from your dietitian and diabetes team, or call our Infoline on 1300 136 588.