Using a low carbohydrate diet to treat pregnant women with gestational diabetes does not reduce the number of women needing insulin or alter pregnancy outcomes, according to researchers in Spain.
Cristina Moreno-Castilla, from Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, conducted a study to investigate whether a low-carb diet for the treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) would lead to a lower rate of insulin treatment with similar pregnancy outcomes compared with a control diet .
A total of 152 women with GDM were randomised to follow either a low-carb diet (one where carbohydrates accounted for 40% of the total energy content) or a control diet (55% of the total energy content as carbohydrates ).
After comparing the rate of insulin treatment and pregnancy outcomes between the two treatment groups, the researchers found no significant difference in the number of pregnant women requiring insulin (54.7% for low carb vs. 54.7% for control).
There were also no differences between the groups regarding main pregnancy outcomes.
“Treatment of women with GDM using a low carb diet did not reduce the number of women needing insulin and produced similar pregnancy outcomes. In GDM, carbohydrate amount did not influence insulin need or pregnancy outcomes,” the authors concluded.
Their findings were published online April 5 in the journal Diabetes Care .

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