Different diet and exercise regime realises “ground breaking” results for type 2 diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on February 12, 2016

The traditional exercise and diet regime that is followed by people with type 2 diabetes in many countries across the world may be outdated, according to new research from Australia.

How much exercise to take and what to eat is a widely debated topic in the world of diabetes but now a major study from researchers at the University of Adelaide suggests that the best results can be achieved from a low carbohydrate approach.

The researchers say that they have developed a diet and exercise programme which they believe is highly effective in reducing the burden of type 2 diabetes as it results in an average 40% reduction in medication levels.


The diet incorporates an eating pattern that is very low in carbohydrates and higher in protein and unsaturated fats and is the result of the study which compared the low carbohydrate eating pattern with the current best practice approach of managing type 2 diabetes with a high unrefined carbohydrate, low fat diet.

“The research results are ground breaking. Health professionals have been divided over the best dietary approach for managing type 2 diabetes, and the ongoing uncertainty is a hotly debated topic amongst clinicians and researchers,” said Associate Professor Grant Brinkworth, principal research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia.

“The most amazing benefit of the low carbohydrate diet was the reduction in the patient’s medication levels, which was more than double the amount than the volunteers following the lifestyle programme with the high carbohydrate diet plan,” he explained.

“Some of the participants managed to cease their medications altogether, and many described the study as life changing. This research shows that traditional dietary approaches for managing type 2 diabetes could be outdated, we really need to review the current dietary guidelines if we are serious about using the latest scientific evidence to reduce the impact of the disease,” he added.

The two year research intervention was a collaboration between CSIRO, Adelaide University, Flinders University and the University of South Australia, with the exercise programme delivered in partnership with community fitness centres.

Medication requirements were also monitored and supervised with appropriate oversight from physicians and Professor Campbell Thompson from the University of Adelaide said there were further insights on the clinical outcomes.

“The very low carbohydrate diet presented greater improvements in the blood cholesterol profile, by increasing the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and decreasing triglyceride levels to a greater extent than the traditional high carbohydrate, low fat diet approach,” he pointed out.

“Both diets achieved similar reductions in bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, often a concern with some low carbohydrate diets. The variability of blood glucose levels throughout the day is also emerging as a strong independent risk factor for diabetes complications,” he explained.

“In our study the very low carbohydrate diet was more effective in reducing the number and levels of blood glucose spikes and dips, flattening the blood glucose profile over a 24 hour period,” he added.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Annie Jones August 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm

Low carbohydrate diet is not ground breaking.
Richard K. Bernstein has been prescribing this diet for going on 40 years.
Since becoming an M.D., Bernstein has worked only with diabetics and puts all of them on low carb while the American Diabetes Association has been recommending a diet with 50% carbohydrates.
Thanks to Dr. Bernstein I’ve lost 50+ lbs and my bg numbers rarely spike above 120 post meal.


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