New study looks at how low-carb diets affect blood sugar control

A low-carbohydrate diet, if sustained, may be a useful dietary approach for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes

While low-carb diets are often recommended for those being treated for diabetes, little evidence exists on whether eating fewer carbs can impact the blood sugar of those with diabetes or prediabetes who aren’t treated by medications.

Now, according to new research from Tulane University in the US, a low-carb diet can help those with unmedicated diabetes, and those at risk for diabetes, lower their blood sugar.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, 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 haemoglobin 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.

“We already know that a low-carbohydrate diet is one dietary approach used among people who have Type 2 diabetes, but there is not as much evidence on effects of this diet on blood sugar in people with prediabetes. Future work could be done to see if this dietary approach may be an alternative approach for Type 2 diabetes prevention,” said lead author Kirsten Dorans, assistant professor of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Image credit- shutterstock

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