People with excess body weight and type 2 diabetes can keep their weight and blood sugar in check by eating a low carbohydrate diet, say Swedish researchers.
In this new study, 16 people with obesity and type 2 diabetes restricted carbohydrate intake to 20 percent of total calories (80 to 90 grams per day). (The usual recommended carbohydrate intake is 45 to 65 percent of total calories.)
Soon after starting the low carbohydrate diet, blood glucose levels dropped - and stayed down for the duration of the study - minimizing the need for insulin.
After 22 months, over 30 percent of the study participants had lost or maintained body weight. By 44 months, all but one person had lost weight. Weight loss was accomplished without feelings of hunger while the low carbohydrate diet was being followed.
The low carbohydrate diet is high in vegetables and protein while limiting starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice. By restricting carbohydrates, the body uses stored fat as energy, which results in weight loss, explains the study author.
Diabetes occurs when the body does not effectively use insulin to control blood glucose levels. Obesity is a major risk factor for this disease, which affects over two million Canadians.
This study was published in the May issue of Nutrition and Metabolism.
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