A low-carb diet can help treat both diabetes and prediabetes

A low-carb diet can help treat both diabetes and prediabetes

New Orleans – People with diabetes often get advice to go on a low-carb diet, but doctors have never been able to determine whether cutting back on carbohydrates also benefits diabetics or diabetics who aren’t on medication — until now. Researchers from Tulane University have found that a low-carb diet can actually help those with untreated diabetes who are at risk of developing prediabetes lower their blood sugar.

The team compared two groups to reach this conclusion. One switched to a low-carb diet, while the other continued eating his regular diet. After six months, the low-carb diet group showed a greater decrease in hemoglobin A1c, an indicator of blood sugar levels, than the standard diet group. Patients who eat a low-carb diet also tend to lose weight and have lower fasting glucose levels.

“The main message is that a low-carb diet, if maintained, may be a useful approach to preventing and treating Type 2 diabetesalthough more research is needed,” says lead study author Kirsten Doran, associate professor of epidemiology in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in University release.

Nearly 37 million Americans live with diabetes, a condition that occurs in the body Not using insulin properly Thus blood sugar levels cannot be regulated. The vast majority of these cases (more than 90%) are type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 diabetes can greatly affect a person’s quality of life, and can cause symptoms including blurred vision, numb hands and feet, and general fatigue. It can also lead to more serious complications such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

What are prediabetes?

This work is particularly noteworthy for individuals with diabetes who have higher than normal A1c levels but lower than what doctors consider diabetes. The CDC estimates that about 96 million Americans have prediabetes and that more than 80 percent of people with prediabetes are unaware of their condition. prediabetes It contributes to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. However, most people with prediabetes do not take medications to lower blood sugar levels, which means that a healthy diet is even more important.

This project involved patients whose blood glucose levels ranged from prediabetes to hypoglycemic levels that were not diabetes drugs. The low-carb group saw A1c levels fall 0.23% more than the usual diet group, an observation Professor Dorans describes as “modest but clinically relevant”.

Notably, the fats made up about half of the calories eaten by the low-carb group, but these fats were mostly healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in healthy foods like olive oil and nuts. In summary, Professor Doran cautions that this work does not prove that a low-carb diet can prevent diabetes. However, this study opens the possibility for further purposeful research on how best to mitigate health risks for those with prediabetes, and those with diabetes who are not taking medication.

“We already know that a Low carb diet It is one dietary approach used among people with type 2 diabetes, but there is not much evidence of the effects of this diet on blood sugar in people with prediabetes,” concludes Professor Doran. “Future work could be done to see if this A dietary approach may be an alternative approach to preventing type 2 diabetes.”

The study Posted in JAMA Network is open.

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