Landmark US consensus recommends low carb diet in diabetes management

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 25 Apr 2019
Landmark US consensus recommends low carb diet in diabetes management
A landmark consensus that eating low carb is beneficial for managing diabetes has been announced by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

The report, entitled 'Nutrition Therapy for Adults with Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report (Consensus Report)', has been produced by experts at the ADA and published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Dietary guidelines have historically advocated high carb diets for people with or without diabetes, although the growing evidence base is illustrating how beneficial cutting down on carbs can be for people with diabetes.

Last year, the ADA made the significant step of acknowledging low carb as a beneficial approach for treating type 2 diabetes. The ADA addressed how eating low carb could improve blood glucose levels and reduce the need for blood glucose-lowering medication among those with type 2 diabetes.

Now, this new ADA report goes further in stating how diabetes-focused medical nutrition therapy is fundamental to overall diabetes management.



Specifically, the report says of low carb diets: "Reducing overall carbohydrate intake for individuals with diabetes has demonstrated the most evidence for improving glycemia and may be applied In a variety of eating patterns that meet individual needs and requirements.

"For select adults with type 2 diabetes not meeting glycemic targets or where reducing antiglycemic mediations is a priority, reducing overall carbohydrate intake with low- or very low-carbohydrate eating plans is a viable approach."

The report also emphasised the importance of eating non-starchy vegetables to avoid blood glucose spikes, minimising intake of added sugars and refined grains, and choosing whole foods over highly-processed foods.

One of the authors of the paper, Dr Laura Saslow, from the University of Michigan, US, was the lead author for a research paper published in the peer-reviewed JMIR last year, which revealed 26% of users of Diabetes Digital Media's Low Carb Program put their type 2 diabetes into remission at the one-year mark. Remission was defined as reducing HbA1c into normal levels while taking no glucose-lowering medications or just metformin.
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