Diabetics can achieve tight blood sugar control with diet

September 11, 2008 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Diabetics can achieve tight blood sugar control with diet

People with type 2 diabetes can achieve strict blood sugar control through diet or medication and enjoy lower risks of heart attacks and other long-term complications of the disease, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In this new study, researchers studied 3,277 newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetic people and assigned them to manage their blood sugar either through dietary strategies or standard medications that control blood sugar.

Blood sugar levels and health information were tracked for an average of ten years using blood tests and questionnaires.

Within one year, the people who followed the diet recommendations to control their blood sugar achieved the same level of control as those who took prescribed medications for Type 2 diabetes such as sufonylureas and metformin.

Researchers found that tight control of blood sugar levels lowered the risks of diabetes-related complications such as eye disease and kidney damage.

In people who were overweight and diabetic, heart attack risk was significantly reduced when blood sugar was tightly controlled by either diet or metformin.

Health Canada estimates that over two million Canadians have type 2 diabetes. About one-third of Canadians with diabetes are unaware that they have the disease.  

People with type 2 diabetes often seek the help of a dietitian who can teach them about how foods affect their blood sugar levels and help them minimize long-term health risks. 

Diet strategies to control blood sugar in diabetes include eating more high-fibre foods like legume, vegetables, fruits and wholegrain cereals.

For more information on nutrition management of type 2 diabetes, check out Leslie Beck's Nutrition Encyclopedia.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.