According to a Swedish study, educational programs enlightening the patients with type1 diabetes about the importance of low carbohydrate diet in regulating the blood glucose level, encourages the patients in following the diet over a long period.
The study involved 31 women and 17 men with type1 diabetes aged about 52 years and suffering from type1 diabetes for an average of 24 years and whose HbA1c levels were greater than 6.1%.
AdvertisementThe participants attended a dietary educational course for a day, where they had been instructed to follow a diet with very less carbs and to restrict their daily carbohydrate intake to less than 75 grams along with appropriate reduction in insulin dosages. This was followed by 2-3 hours session every week for the following four weeks.
The researchers evaluated the long-term adherence to such diets among the participants for four years by assessing their HbA1c levels on a yearly basis and comparing it with the values recorded 3 months after starting the diet plan.
The analysts found a significant reduction in HbA1c levels in patients who had strictly followed the recommended diet. And also their insulin dosage had reduced from 23 IU to 13 IU by the end of one year. This reduction in HbA1c levels corresponds to a 40% decrease in risk for heart disease.
Hyperglycemia damages the organ tissues at an alarming speed and predisposes the patients to numerous health complications. The study showed that with controlled carbohydrate intake it is possible to keep the health complications like retinopathy and neuropathy at bay.
The experts noted a decrease in cholesterol to HDL ratio thus reducing the patients' risk for heart attack by 20%.
The researchers thus concluded that the proposed diet is aimed at lowering the HbA1c levels by lowering the daily carbohydrate and not reducing the fat and protein levels and such educational programs might benefit nearly 50% of them in regulating their blood glucose levels through diet.
Reference: Low carbohydrate diet in type 1 diabetes, long-term improvement and adherence: A clinical audit; Jorgen Vesti et al; Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome 2012
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