Diet quality may be more important than weight loss for delaying, controlling type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most frequently diagnosed form of diabetes. Individuals often develop the condition after carrying extra body weight for many years. Because of this, many people who are told that they have type 2 diabetes are instructed to lose weight to help improve their symptoms.

However, a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that changes in the composition of a person's diet, regardless of calorie quantity, may help delay the onset of type 2 diabetes or effectively control the disease.

The researchers said that these results may be of great importance for people who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes but struggle to lose weight, since the diets that were utilized in the investigation did not involve reducing one's total daily food intake.

The experiment involved 69 healthy but overweight individuals who did not have type 2 diabetes. Some were placed on a low-fat diet, while others were given a minimal carbohydrate eating regimen. However, the researchers balanced the participant's food intake so that they did not lose weight.

"The diets used in this study were actually fairly moderate. Individuals at risk for diabetes easily could adopt the lower fat diet we employed. Our findings indicate that the lower-fat diet might reduce the risk of diabetes or slow the progression of the disease," said lead researcher Laura Lee Goree.

The study's results showed that after eight weeks of using these types of diets, subjects in the low-fat group whose eating regimens were comprised of 27 percent fat and 55 percent carbohydrates secreted more insulin than they had at the beginning of the study. The findings also indicated that these individuals had improved glucose tolerance and higher insulin sensitivity.

Some people who have type 2 diabetes are referred to a dietitian who can aid in diabetic diet planning. In light of this study's results, individuals may consider discussing low-fat diet options with a nutrition expert.