This diet could reverse type 2 diabetes

15th January 2021 | Eativity editors

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has contributed to a new international study that has found consuming fewer carbs can potentially put type 2 diabetes into remission.

The study found that after six months, patients who ate a diet containing fewer than 26 percent of daily calories from carbs achieved greater rates of type 2 diabetes remission than those who followed other diets traditionally recommended for managing the disease.

Low-carb diets aren’t just helpful for diabetics, they can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Professor Grant Brinkworth, a CSIRO research scientist and contributing author to the study, says the findings showed that those who better adhered to the low-carb dietary approach experienced the greatest health improvements.

“Building on existing research, this study underscores that a low-carb diet can achieve greater weight loss and is more effective in reducing diabetes medication and improving blood glucose control,” he says. “However, this study has gone one step further in showing the low-carb dietary approach to be effective in driving type 2 diabetes into remission.

“We know that lifestyle factors such as what we eat play a major part in determining our risk to type 2 diabetes. The good news is, these choices are within our control to change.”

About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and this number is steadily increasing.

Diabetes has become one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century. Worldwide, it’s estimated that one in 11 adults have diabetes and that it’s responsible for 11 percent of deaths annually. In Australia, around one million people have type 2 diabetes. According to Diabetes Australia, a further 500,000 have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, and 280 Australians are developing diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes.

The results of this study show that low-carbohydrate diets could potentially be considered an effective alternative type 2 diabetes management option, combined with monitoring and adjusting diabetes medication as needed. However, Professor Brinkworth says that the findings also underlined the need to provide patients with diet support tools.

“The challenge is to provide patients with easy-to-use support tools and convenient product solutions to help them adhere to [a low-carb diet] long-term to gain these greater health improvements,” he says.