A simple change in diet could mean the elimination of medications for Type II diabetics. When comparing the effects of two special diets for Type II diabetics, each combined with exercise, the Mediterranean low-carbohydrate diet came out on top, ahead of the low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet illustrated that with a good diet and exercise program, many Type II diabetics may be able to avoid any type of medication.
Newly diagnosed cases of Type II diabetes may benefit from the Mediterranean diet and help to delay or eliminate the need for prescribed medication. While a lifestyle change, along with diet and exercise is necessary for all diabetics, not all adopt a good regimen. With the newly released study, we may have new support for a stricter diet combined with exercise. A stricter regimen may help to avoid taking unwanted medication while cutting some expense from a diabetic’s budget
During the team’s research, they not only realized that the low-carb diet was better for new suffering Type II diabetics, but the diet had several other positive effects. There were 215 overweight newly diagnosed Type II diabetics who were involved in the four year Italian study that compared the low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet and the American Heart Association low fat diet. The participants were divided into two groups. One group was instructed to eat a diet low in fat and the other was instructed to eat a diet low in carbohydrates, in combination with regular exercise. The study was the longest so far to tackle the comparison of the two specific style diets and their effects on Type II diabetic’s treatment.
During the study, all participants were asked to take part in a regular exercise routine and were encouraged regularly, by a nutritional counselor, for the duration of the study. The low fat group’s diets consisted of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and were limited in sweets and high fats treats, as well as reduced daily calories and saturated fats. While the Mediterranean diet group ate a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, they also combined healthy fats, such as olive oil and products with lean protein. They were also asked to lower carbohydrate intake to less than half of their norm.
The study, published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, asked that all participants limit their daily calories significantly, to half of that of the average American’s daily diet. The low-carbohydrate group had over half of its participants that were able to halt their medications after the four year study, but less than a third of those on the low-fat diet were able to remove the diabetic medication from their daily regimen.
Diabetics must realize that even if they are able to loose a few pounds, it is a big step towards better health. During the study, once dieter’s blood sugar levels lowered below seven percent for three consecutive months, the participants were taken off their diabetic medication.
Diabetes affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and the number continue to grow along with heart disease and obesity cases. Many times newly diagnosed Type II diabetics are asked to adjust their eating habits and to exercise regularly in combination to taking diabetic medication, to help control their blood sugar levels. While the authors of the study say, “The findings reinforce the message that benefits of lifestyle intervention should not be overlooked despite the drug intensive style of medicine fueled by the current medical literature.” The American Diabetes Association still recommends all newly diagnosed type II diabetics not only adjust their eating habits and adopt regular exercise regimens but also take proper diabetic medication once diagnosed. The spokesman for the American Diabetics Associations, Dr. R. Paul Robertson, said, “The goal should not be to avoid drugs. It is to do everything you can to keep your sugar levels down.”