low carb diet

A UK review finds that eating a low-carb diet is an “effective technique” to help manage diabetes.

Scientists from London Metropolitan University discovered that people with diabetes who reduced the amount of starchy carbohydrates they ate, such as potatoes, rice and pasta, achieved significantly lower blood glucose levels.

The findings came from a systematic review of work carried out by other researchers into carbohydrate consumption among people with diabetes.

The London research team analysed HbA1c levels of participants who followed either a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet, the latter of which is recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

Those on a low-carb diet who ate between 30g and 120g of carbs per day significantly lowered their HbA1c, and participants who ate less than 30g per day reduced their HbA1c by 24 mmol/mol (2.2%).

Additionally, those in the low-carb group lost more weight: an average of 4.7kg over a two-year period compared to 2.9kg in the low-fat group.

“Our findings suggest that a reduced carbohydrate diet can be an effective technique for managing diabetes and new guidelines that promote lower carbohydrate intakes for both the general population, and those with diabetes, should seriously be considered,” said lead author Michelle McKenzie.

“More long-term studies are required to ensure that the results can be confidently translated into clinical practice, however, the science at this point in time is compelling and should not be ignored.”

The findings will be published in the Winter Meeting edition of the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.