Approximately 37 million Americans have diabetes, a condition that occurs when the body doesn’t use insulin properly and can’t regulate blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes comprises more than 90% of those cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Type 2 diabetes can severely affect the quality of life with symptoms such as blurred vision, numb hands and feet, and overall tiredness and can cause other serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
In a study from Tulane University, the team tested participants whose blood sugar ranged from prediabetic to diabetic levels and who were not on diabetes medication.
They found a low-carb diet can help people with unmedicated diabetes, and those at risk for diabetes, lower their blood sugar.
While low-carb diets are often recommended for those being treated for diabetes, until now little evidence existed on whether eating fewer carbs can affect the blood sugar of those with diabetes or prediabetes who aren’t taking medications.
In the study, the team compared two groups: one assigned to a low-carb diet and another that continued with their usual diet.
After six months, the low-carb diet group had greater drops in hemoglobin A1c, a marker for blood sugar levels, when compared with the group who ate their usual diet.
The low-carbohydrate diet group also lost weight and had lower fasting glucose levels.
The team says the key message is that a low-carbohydrate diet if maintained, might be a useful approach for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes, though more research is needed
The study’s findings are especially important for those with prediabetes whose A1c levels are higher than normal but below levels that would be classified as diabetes.
Approximately 96 million Americans have prediabetes and more than 80% of those with prediabetes are unaware they have it, according to the CDC.
Those with prediabetes are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, or strokes and are usually not taking medications to lower blood sugar levels, making a healthy diet more crucial.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about a cure for type 2 diabetes, and these vegetables could protect against kidney damage in diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about why insulin is more expensive for people with diabetes, and Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.
The study was conducted by Kirsten Dorans et al and published in JAMA Network Open.
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