Type 2 diabetes: Diet to ‘reduce or eliminate glucose-lowering medication’ says new study
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Type 2 diabetes can either be life-changing or negligible depending on how the condition is managed. This is because the main mechanism that drives it – unstable blood sugar levels – wreaks havoc upon the body if left untreated. As most are aware, the key to keeping blood sugar levels at bay is to think carefully about your food choices. A new study delves further into this finding one particular type of eating pattern helped to not only lower blood sugars but also possibly put the condition into remission.
When it comes to reversing type 2 diabetes, diet is key with one in particular proving to potentially put the condition into remission.
A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia and UK’s Teesside University published results of their study showing how one can effectively control their diabetes through diet.
The study, which was published in Nature Communication, involved a 12-week participation undergoing a specialised diet.
The participants, all living with type 2 diabetes, were given a meal plan which included lowered calories, lower carbohydrate and higher protein intake.
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“Type 2 diabetes can be treated, and sometimes reversed, with dietary interventions,” said study co-author Dr Jonathan Little.
He added: “However, we needed a strategy to help people implement these interventions while keeping an eye on their medication changes.”
Speaking of the results, Dr Little said: “When Type 2 diabetes patients follow a very low-carbohydrate or low-calorie diet, there is a need to reduce or eliminate glucose-lowering medications.”
Half of the participants in the study followed the low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, higher-protein diet and was found that after 12 weeks, more than one-third of participants with type 2 diabetes were off all diabetes medications, versus none in the control group.
Dr Little also noted the first group was found to have substantial improvements to their glucose control, average body weight, systolic blood pressure and overall health.
Co-investigator Dr Alan Batterham, professor in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Teesside University, said the key was a targeted nutritional approach, supervised by a community pharmacist who can monitor prescribed medications.
“The intervention was effective in reducing the need for glucose-lowering medications for many in our study,” concluded Dr Batterham.
“This indicates that community pharmacists are a viable and innovative option for implementing short-term nutritional interventions for people with type 2 diabetes, particularly when medication management is a safety concern.”
Numerous studies have found that low-carb, high-protein diets help to boost metabolism, are more filling, and therefore deters most from eating more calories.
A low-carb diet will help stave off high blood sugar levels and could even possibly put a diabetic into remission.
Top tips for following the low-carb rule include:
Reduce or eliminate the amount of sugar and high-carb foods which include breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, white potatoes, rice, crackers, biscuits, sweets, and fizzy drinks.
Try to load up every meal with non-starchy and salad vegetables such as kale, lettuce, broccoli, mushrooms, or peppers.
Eat good fats, including oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, and animal fats. Also include nuts and cheese in moderation.
Diabetes UK deputy head of care, Douglas Twenefour, said: “If you’re thinking about trying a low-calorie diet, it’s really important you speak to your GP and get referred to a dietitian.
“It’s also important to bear in mind that if you’re treating your type 2 diabetes with certain medications, such as insulin or sulphonylurea, a low-calorie diet can make hypos more likely.
“So, you’ll need support to make changes to your medications and check your blood sugar levels more often.”
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