A large pilot study of low-carbohydrate diets suggests they can successfully control type 2 diabetes.
A review of more than 80,000 people who gave up low-fat, high carbohydrate diets found that after ten weeks their blood-glucose levels dropped.
That study was conducted after an online revolt by patients in which 120,000 people signed up to the “low-carb” diet plan launched by in a backlash against official advice.
By rejecting guidelines and eating a diet low in starchy foods but high in protein and “good” saturated fats, such as olive oil and nuts, more than 80 percent of the patients said that they had lost weight, with 10 percent shedding 9kg or more.
More than 70 per cent of participants experienced improvements of blood glucose, and a fifth said they no longer needed drugs to regulate blood glucose by the end of the ten-week plan.
David Unwin, a GP and diabetes expert, said: “For many years I followed the advice given by PHE (Public Health England) and Diabetes UK.
“It didn’t go well.
“They really struggled to lose weight and their blood glucose remained high and many relied on medication.”
About 2.7 million people in Britain have type 2 diabetes, a condition closely linked with obesity, and a further 750,000 are thought to have undiagnosed symptoms.
The results from the latest review come a week after the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration released a report also linking carbohydrates to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Controversially, the document argued that “eating fat does not make you fat”.
How To Manage and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Six tips from Dr David Cavan, the UK’s leading expert on diabetes self-management and author of Reverse Your Diabetes: The Step-by-Step Plan to Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Limit yourself to two standard alcoholic drinks a day. Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Moderate alcohol intake is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Cider, sweet wines and some beers are best avoided as the can have high sugar or carbohydrate content.
- Drink water, coffee or tea instead of fruit juice and fizzy drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of type 2 diabetes including fruit juices and smoothies. Caffeine may be beneficial but only as unsweetened tea or coffee – not a latte or cappuccino.
- Eat at least three servings of green leafy vegetables every day. These contain vitamins, fibre and are very low in calories. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes are best eaten in moderation as they can have a similar effect as sugar in leading to a rapid rise in blood glucose. Eating more than three pieces of fruit a day does not appear to protect from type 2 diabetes.
- Snack on a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or unsweetened yoghurt. They’re low in sugar, as opposed to biscuits, chocolate bars and cakes which are high in sugar, fat and calories.
- Choose poultry, fish or lean cuts of white meat. Red and processed meats are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Meals prepared with fresh, unprocessed meat are preferable to ready-made or ‘fast food’ meals.
- Buy whole-grain bread, rice and pasta. White bread and white rice are turned into glucose rapidly; excess consumption of white rice is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.