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Diabetics Can Choose Their Energy-Restricted Diets

Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

For people with type 2 diabetes, diets high in either monounsaturated fatty acids or carbohydrates are good -- as long as the calories they contain are limited.

Dr. Bonnie J. Brehm and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, ran a clinical trial in which 124 overweight or obese subjects with type 2 diabetes were assigned to either a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or one high in carbohydrates for one year.

The diet plans were individualized to provide 200-300 calories per day less than calculated daily requirements, the team explains in the medical journal Diabetes Care.

After a year, 69 percent for the high-MUFA group and 84 percent for the high-carb group were still participating.

Average weight loss was similar in both groups -- 4.0 kilograms (8.8 pounds) in the high-MUFA group and 3.8 kg (8.4 pounds) in the high-carb group.

There were also similar improvements in body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, "good" HDL cholesterol, A1C, and glucose and insulin.  Among 18 participants from each group who consented to a follow-up assessment 18 months after completion of the main study, the researchers found that weight loss and A1C improvement had been maintained.

"Our study results suggest that high-MUFA diets can be healthy alternatives to conventional lower-fat diets," Brehm and colleagues conclude. Healthcare providers with diabetic patients "can offer ongoing counseling for a variety of diets higher in either carbohydrates or MUFA while controlled in energy," they advise.

Dropping the “one size fits all' philosophy and providing diet options, they suggest, may encourage people with diabetes to stick with a reduced-calorie diet.

Source: Diabetes In Control: Diabetes Care, February 2009.

 
 
 
 
 
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