Until further research people with type 2 diabetes should forgo the paleo diet, the head of the Australian Diabetes Society has warned.
Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos, from the University of Melbourne's Department of Medicine at the Austin Hospital, said there is little evidence to support claims the paleo diet can help manage diabetes.
‘Paleo diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food.’
"There have been only two trials worldwide of people with type 2 diabetes on what looks to be a paleo diet," he said.
"Both studies had fewer than 20 participants, one had no control diet, and at 12 weeks or less, neither study lasted long enough for us to draw solid conclusions about the impact on weight or glycemic control."
Mcelebrities including chef Pete Evans and athelete Liz Cambage, follow the Paleo diet which attracts the common crowd including diabetics. The paleo diet advocates a high consumption of meat and cuts out whole grains and dairy.
"High-fat, zero-carb diets promoted by some celebrities make this worse, as they can lead to rapid weight gain, as well as increase your risk of heart disease," Mr Andrikopoulos said.
Accredited dietitian and Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson Alan Barclay supported the warning, and emphasised the paleo diet may not be sustainable.
"You have to work with that individual to improve the dietary pattern that they're already consuming, otherwise they're not going to stay with it very long," Mr Barclay said.
Associate Prof. Andrikopoulos, who is also the president of the Australian Diabetes Society, said people with diabetes benefited most from regular exercise.
He also recommended the Mediterranean diet, which mainly consists of olive oil, fats from fish, legumes and is low in refined sugar.