Healthy foods

A follow up review of a diet study shows that low carb diets are not only stronger for blood glucose control than low fat diets but also have additional quality of life benefits.

The first study had been a 12 month study that had shown that whilst low carb and low fat diets, which shared the same caloric intake, resulted in similar weight loss, the low carb diet resulted in significantly improved blood glucose control.

In the follow up, the researchers, from Linköping University in Sweden, asked the 61 participants to complete a 36 item health questionnaire. The questionnaire quizzed the participants on the following areas:

  • Physical function
  • Physical role limitations
  • Bodily pain
  • General health
  • Vitality
  • Social function
  • Emotional role limitations
  • Mental health

The results showed that quality of life improvements appeared in the subjects with type 2 diabetes after one year but only within the low carb diet group. The areas of particular improvement within the low carb group were in terms of bodily pain, physical function and health in general.

When participants were questioned on what they thought of the diet they had been assigned to, the people on the low fat diet noted that it was cheap, tasty and easy to follow. The low carb dieters noted, as benefits, that they felt less hungry and were less likely to feel like having sweet foods.

The research also asked participants about how they adapted to their diets in their lives. Both diet groups acknowledged that it helped if the whole family followed the same diet with some of the low carb dieters adding that they would sometimes prepare non-low crab meals for the family whilst they had a separate low carb version. Difficulties were experienced by dieters in both groups when it came to eating out or when eating at other people’s homes.

The study was small, with only 61 participants taking part but does provide further evidence of the benefits which low carbohydrate diets can provide.