May 19, 2014

Lifestyle interventions play an important role in the management of diabetes and can lead to decreased inflammation. Inflammation is one of the underlying abnormalities in diabetes and obesity, and can contribute to complications like heart disease. Researchers in Sweden have found that a low carbohydrate diet, compared to a low fat diet, decreases inflammation in Type 2 diabetics. In this study, participants were placed on either of two diets. They were divided into a low carbohydrate diet group and a low fat diet group. The low carbohydrate diet group consumed 20 energy per cent (E%) from carbs, while the low fat diet group consumed 30 energy per cent(E%) from fat. Only the low carb diet group showed decreased inflammation, although both groups lost similar amounts of weight.

In the past, low fat diets were typically recommended for achieving weight loss and improving blood sugar control in diabetes. However, more evidence has been piling up showing that a high carbohydrate diet may not have as many health benefits as a low carb or Mediterranean diet.

Advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet has a favourable impact on low-grade inflammation in type 2 diabetes compared with advice to follow a low-fat diet. Jonasson L, Guldbrand H, Lundberg AK, Nystrom FH. Ann Med 2014 May 46(3):182-7.

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