Individuals with type 2 diabetes can improve their health if they follow a low-carb, high-fat diet, according to another study on the diet.

A new study conducted by academics at the University of Southern Denmark has found an association between a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and better blood glucose control.

In addition, the report shows that people who have reduced their carbohydrate intake have experienced greater weight loss results compared to those following a high-carb diet.

During te experiment, the team of scientists examined the health outcomes of 165 adults with type 2 diabetes who were either following a low-carb, high-fat diet or a high-carb, low-fat meal plan.

They found that the participants in the low-carb, high-fat group lowered their haemoglobin A1c by 0.59% more than those following a high-carb, low-fat diet.

Additionally, the results show that adults limiting their carbohydrate intake lost nearly four kg more weight than those consuming a higher number of carbohydrates.

Participants in the low-carb, high-fat group also had better ‘good’ cholesterol levels and triglycerides compared to those in the other group, the study has reported.

According to the findings, the people in the low-carb group also had higher ‘bad’ cholesterol levels compared to individuals in the high-carb group.

Amy Bragagnini, Oncology Nutrition Specialist, said: “Carbohydrates are important. Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for our brain and our bodies.

“Consuming too many highly processed or simple carbohydrates can lead to increased risk of heart disease, unwanted weight gain, and diabetes.”

Registered Dietitian Julie Cunningham said: “As the authors pointed out, the people in the study were not able to maintain their dietary changes or improvements to their health three months after the study finished.

“I don’t want my patients to change their diets temporarily and then potentially experience worsening blood sugars, weight gain, and accompanying depression when they stop following a low-carb, high-fat diet.”

She added: “A high-fat diet may sound appealing at first but it does get boring, especially when carbohydrates are restricted.

“Imagine, for example, your baked potato with sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits, but no potato.”

Being more active is another way for people with type 2 diabetes to improve their health outcomes, according to the findings.

Amy said: “I have a lot of people tell me that they are too busy to join a gym, or that cost is a big factor. I urge them to find brief pockets of time during the day to simply move.”

Tips to easily increase your physical activity include:

  • Building set periods of time every day to move and try to make this a habit that lasts
  • Going for a walk during lunchtime (or any other break in the day)
  • Doing weight resistance exercises during television adverts (push-ups, squats, lunges).

“Together, these changes can help increase lean body mass, decrease anxiety, and improve one’s metabolism, which, in addition to a balanced diet, can lead to weight loss,” said Amy.

Julie added: “We have direct control over the foods we choose to eat and the physical activities we choose to do but we don’t have direct control over the number on the scale.

“Measure success by whether you choose to eat well and give your body the activity it needs, and don’t worry about the number on the scale.”

Read the full study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

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