Type 2 diabetes is a chronic debilitating disease. Along with its lifetime effects to the body, is the burden of drugs that needs to be maintained for years, or decades for some people. A team of Australian scientists formulated a ground breaking diet that is effective in reducing the predicament of type 2 diabetes, with an estimated 40 percent expected reduction in medication levels.
This may sound as good news to diabetics because it can help reduce the costs of their medications and treatments. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) scientists developed a low-carbohydrate diet and exercise program, which recommends eating foods that are low in carbohydrates, high in proteins and high in unsaturated fats.
"The research results are ground breaking," said Grant Brinkworth from CSIRO.
The National Health and Medical Research Council funded the study with an estimated $1.3 million. CSIRO researchers along with those from Adelaide University, University of South Australia and Flinders University, compared two diets: a very-low-carbohydrate, high saturated fat diet and a high-unrefined carbohydrate, low fat diet, which is currently used to manage type 2 diabetes.
The new diet improved over-all blood cholesterol profiles by boosting the levels of good cholesterol or high density lipoproteins and decreasing triglyceride levels than the conventional diet. The researchers suggest that currently-used diets should be updated based on findings from such studies.
"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," Campbell Thompson, professor from the University of Adelaide, said.
An estimated 347 million people have diabetes across the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the chronic disease is predicted to become the 7th leading cause of mortality by 2030. In the next 10 years, deaths from diabetes are estimated to increase by 50 percent.
In the United States, a total of 29.1 million people or 9.3 percent of the population have diabetes in 2014. Of the total number, 21 million have been diagnosed while 8.1 million are not aware that they have the disease.
Photo: Daniel Oines | Flickr