A panel of 15 experts with representatives from seven medical professional societies reached consensus on research related to using diet as the primary intervention to achieve diabetes remission.
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine has released an expert consensus statement to assist clinicians in achieving remission of type 2 diabetes in adults using diet as a primary intervention. The consensus statement is endorsed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology supported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and co-sponsored by the Endocrine Society.
This publication is the first to focus on diet as primary means of achieving lasting remission of diabetes – without medications or procedures – in contrast with the usual role of diet as an adjunctive therapy.
Knowing that diet alone can achieve remission is an empowering message for many adults with type 2 diabetes, especially when supported by consensus among internists, cardiologists, family physicians, endocrinologists, nutritionists, dieticians and lifestyle medicine specialists.
The expert consensus statement concluded that diet as a primary intervention can achieve remission in many adults with type 2 diabetes, defined as normal glycemic measures (normal HbA1c <6.5% and normal fasting glucose) for at least three months without surgery, devices or medication to lower glucose.
Diet as a primary intervention was considered most effective when emphasizing whole, plant-based foods including whole grains, vegetable, legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Without adequate treatment and management, diabetes can result in blindness, kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases, amputation and other co-morbidities that diminish quality of life and contribute to mortality rates.
The expert panel called for more research into areas that include evaluating the impact of reducing animal foods in promoting remission and assessing whether remission can be obtained with ad libitum food intake consuming whole food, plant-based dietary patterns.
Also needed are more randomized controlled trials to assess sustainable plant-based dietary interventions with whole or minimally processed foods, as a primary means of treating type 2 diabetes with the goal of remission.
Source: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, May 18, 2022
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