A new systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal has concluded adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet for six months is the most effective dietary strategy to put type 2 diabetes into remission.
A number of studies over the past few years have found dietary changes can be the most effective first-line treatment for those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Low-calorie diets, fasting diets and plant-based diets have all been shown to be potentially helpful in controlling, or even reversing, type 2 diabetes, and the new research set out to better understand what specific type of dietary intervention is best for type 2 diabetics.
A low-carbohydrate diet was defined in the new study as, “diets with less than 130 g/day or less than 26 percent of calories from carbohydrates based on 2,000 kcal/day.” This was compared to a control group composed of subjects consuming a similarly calorie-controlled diet prioritizing low-fat foods.
“We used the most robust scientific methods to examine the combined effects of 23 published clinical trials from across the world, involving 1,357 participants, including additional data from five of those clinical trials on markers of blood sugar status,” explains Joshua Goldenberg, co-lead on the study. “By examining the totality of evidence on the effects of low carb diets against clinical targets, this study will help clinicians and patients to better understand how this dietary approach can be used to treat type 2 diabetes, which remains a significant and worsening problem worldwide, despite numerous pharmaceutical developments.”