A comparison of slimming club menus in the US shows that a low carb menu is the strongest option, beating the low fat menu and a control diet of standard diabetes care.
The study, which is published online for the Diabetes Care journal, monitored the effects of two low calorie menus, put together by the Jenny Craig weight loss company, against participants which received standard diabetes care but no specific diet plan.
227 overweight men and women with type 2 diabetes took part in the one year study, which was carried out by researchers from the University of California, San Diego and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The Jenny Craig diets consisted of selected meal plans involving pre-packaged food with set portions. Both of the Jenny Craig diet plans, the low carb and low fat diets, were accompanied by regular one to one counselling whereas the standard care group received a one hour weight loss counselling session at the start of the study and at 6 months with follow up consultations by telephone or email.
The results showed the following percentage changes in weight loss, over the year, across the different diets:
Low carb: 9% weight loss
Low fat: 7.4% weight loss
Standard care: 2.5% weight loss
The low carbohydrate dieters also showed the greatest improvements in HbA1c levels, a marker of blood glucose control:
Low carb: 49 mmol/mol (6.6%)
Low fat: 55 mmol/mol (7.2%)
Standard care: 58 mmol/mol (7.5%)
The study is the second published this week to show that a low carbohydrate, higher fat diet is stronger when compared to low fat, higher carbohydrate diet.