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Low-carb diet for six months may lead to diabetic relief: study



  • Adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet may lead to relief from type 2 diabetes after six months.
  • A research review confirmed that a low-carbohydrate diet is the best option, but the benefits may decrease after a year.
  • More research is needed on the long-term effects of diet.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A new study shows that a strict low-carbohydrate diet may be the best choice for patients with type 2 diabetes to enter remission.

The results of this meta-analysis were published in the BMJ on Wednesday and are consistent with the official recommendation of the American Diabetes Association that reducing carbohydrates is the best way to lower blood sugar.

The analysis summarized data from 23 randomized controlled trials involving more than 1

,300 patients with type 2 diabetes. Most studies compare low-carbohydrate diets or very low-carbohydrate diets (defined as less than 26% or 10% of daily calories from carbohydrates, respectively) with low-fat diets.

Overall, patients who adhered to a low-carbohydrate diet for six months had a higher response rate than those who tried other dietary changes.

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine, published a number of studies on dietary changes and diabetes. He said that reducing carbohydrate intake and eating more nutritious foods can help patients reverse the disease process .

“The good news related to diabetes is that it is a dietary disease, so lifestyle measures for carbohydrates can be reversed.” Cucucera, who is not related to the study, told insiders. “This meta-analysis is just another set of studies that shows that it is possible to do this.”

Type 2 diabetes patients are “carbohydrate intolerant”

Although the term doctors usually use to describe type 2 diabetes is “insulin resistance,” Kukuzela says another person who sees the disease is “carbohydrate intolerance.”

“Their bodies do not metabolize and respond well to carbohydrates. The end result is high insulin levels, and high blood sugar or high blood sugar precedes insulin,” Cucuzzella explained.

Fat and protein do not cause blood sugar levels to spike like carbohydrates, so reducing candy and starch can help patients control diabetes and medication.

Other options for addressing diabetes include bariatric surgery-removing the stomach and intestines-or a smoothie that maintains 800 calories a day, so reducing carbohydrate intake is a relatively simple solution, Cucuzzella said.

Sticking to a low-carb lifestyle is the hard part

The analysis found that most of the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet (such as weight loss, improving body fat and reducing medication) were found to be reduced by 12 months after six months.

The author hypothesized that because patients do not adhere to the diet for a long time, it may lead to reduced benefits, but more research needs to be done to explore long-term compliance and effects. Some participants also reported a decline in their quality of life and cholesterol levels after 12 months.

Kukuzela said that keeping diabetes in relief is like holding a beach ball underwater. If the patient allows the diet to change smoothly, the disease can easily rebound. However, he said that short-term benefits bodes well for the overall effect of the diet, and pointed out that patient support is needed in the next step.

“If you can prove that there is any effect within six months, there will be no effect other than not eating and not letting the belly come out, then we must figure out how to help people continue this program.”


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