Those living with Type 2 diabetes may find relief from daily insulin injections through a low-carb diet, according to a new study.
Just six months on a strict, low-carbohydrate diet — meaning less than 26% of your daily calories come from carbohydrates — could reduce blood-sugar levels to a point at which medication is no longer needed, according to the findings based on data from more than 1,357 participants with the metabolic disease.
What’s more, the diet prompted weight loss and fewer diabetic episodes, too, compared to people on other recommended diets, such as low fat.
However, at the 12-month interval, researchers found a drop in benefits provided by the low-carb diet. They point out previous research included in the analysis, published Wednesday in the BMJ, may have had its limitations, and suggest more study is needed into how low-carb diets could be used to alleviate some diabetic symptoms.
For example, doctors might prescribe a short term low-carb diet “for management of Type 2 diabetes, while actively monitoring and adjusting diabetes medication as needed.”
The low-carb diet, made famous by weight loss guru Robert Atkins, later became controversial as former adherents to the starchless regimen complained of their pounds returning with a fury once carbs were reintroduced. Studies eventually linked the fad diet to other health concerns, such as heart arrhythmia and premature death.
Still, the regimen is popular to this day, with benefits scientists still don’t fully understand. One 2019 study suggested that the diet may strengthen lungs against the flu by prompting the production of a protective mucus in the organs’ lining — a “totally unexpected finding,” one researcher said at the time.
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