Low carb eating and type 2 diabetes

Low Carb Cooking


Low-carb eating is under the microscope in Australia and overseas.


Here, Diabetes Australia has released its low-carb position statement, while in the UK, a new review of the 'Low Carb Program' suggests it is effective at improving the health of people with type 2 diabetes.

Better blood glucose control, weight loss and reduced dependency on hypoglycaemic medications were among the Low Carb Program's benefits, as reported in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The review was led by Laura R Saslow, PhD, from the University of Michigan, while Dr David Unwin, a leading UK innovative GP and member of's Advisory Panel, were among the co-authors.

The authors aimed to evaluate the one-year outcomes of the Low Carb Program, a digital health intervention launched in the UK on World Diabetes Day in 2015. The program guides people to eat a diet low in carbohydrate and high in healthy fats to improve health, particularly for those with, or at risk of, type 2 diabetes.

Participants with diagnosed type 2 diabetes were randomly selected to be followed for one year upon joining the program and overall blood glucose control and weight loss improved, particularly for those who completed all 10 modules.

Of the 743 participants with a starting HbA1c of 47.5 mmol/mol (6.5 per cent) or above, 26.2 per cent lowered their HbA1c while taking no glucose-lowering medication or just metformin. Among those taking at least one diabetes medication before the study, 40.4 per cent reduced one or more of these drugs.

Almost half of all participants lost at least 5 per cent of their body weight, and those with higher HbA1c levels at the start of the program who finished the program lost an average of 6.9 per cent. This group also experienced greater HbA1c reductions.

"Especially for participants who fully engage, an online program that teaches a carbohydrate-reduced diet to adults with type 2 diabetes can be effective for glycaemic control, weight loss, and reducing hypoglycemic medications," the authors wrote.

More than 360,000 people have signed up to the Low Carb Program so far. The program has won multiple awards since its inception and earlier this year were approved to be prescribed on the National Health Service (NHS).

Benedict Jephcote, editor of and lead writer of the Low Carb Program, said: "It has been amazing that people with type 2 diabetes have been able to achieve such fantastic results that will benefit their health and lives for years to come."


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