Monday, May 14, 2012
Diabetes: rethink necessary?
The Swedes have done some of the most interesting research on diet and nutrition in recent years. Here, reported by AlpahGalileo Alerts this week, is something that adds weight (pardon the pun) to the low-carb/high fat lobby. I must say, the science is beginning to mount up.
High-fat diet lowered blood sugar and improved blood lipids in diabetics
11 May 2012 Linköping Universitet
People with Type 2 diabetes are usually advised to keep a low-fat diet. Now, a study at Linköping University shows that food with a lot of fat and few carbohydrates could have a better effect on blood sugar levels and blood lipids.
The results of a two-year dietary study led by Hans Guldbrand, general practitioner, and Fredrik Nyström, professor of Internal Medicine, are being published in the prestigious journal Diabetologia. 61 patients were included in the study of Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. They were randomized into two groups, where they followed either a low-carbohydrate (high fat) diet or a low-fat diet.
In both groups, the participants lost approximately 4 kg on average. In addition, a clear improvement in the glycaemic control was seen in the low-carbohydrate group after six months. Their average blood sugar level dropped from 58.5 to 53.7 mmol/mol (the unit for average blood glucose). This means that the intensity of the treatment for diabetes could also be reduced, and the amounts of insulin were lowered by 30%.
Despite the increased fat intake with a larger portion of saturated fatty acids, their lipoproteins did not get worse. Quite the contrary – the HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol, content increased on the high fat diet.
No statistically certain improvements, either of the glycaemic controls or the lipoproteins, were seen in the low-fat group, despite the weight loss.
Here's how they ate (the low-carb group was getting quite a lot of their daily intake from carbs, actually):
In the low-carbohydrate diet, 50% of the energy came from fat, 20% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein. For the low-fat group the distribution was 30% from fat, 55-60% from carbohydrates, and 10-15% from protein, which corresponds to the diet recommended by the Swedish National Food Agency.