Low-carb plant-based diets may lower death risk in type 2 diabetes

Credit: Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels.

Scientists from Harvard University found that low-carb plant-based diets may lower the death risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition where your body has trouble regulating blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes often have to be careful about what they eat and how much they exercise.

A group of researchers recently looked at how a certain type of diet can affect the health and lifespan of people with type 2 diabetes.

The diet they studied is called a low-carbohydrate diet, or LCD for short. As the name suggests, this type of diet focuses on eating fewer carbohydrates and more protein and fat.

To study the effects of LCD on people with type 2 diabetes, the researchers looked at data from two big studies: the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

They looked at how much energy people got from carbohydrates in their diet and what kinds of carbohydrates they were eating (like vegetables or animals).

The researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes who followed healthy versions of the LCD had lower rates of death overall, as well as lower rates of two serious diseases: heart disease and cancer.

And the more a person followed a healthy LCD after their diabetes diagnosis, the more their risk of dying went down.

But here’s the catch: not all low-carbohydrate diets are created equal. The researchers found that only the healthy versions of the LCD had these positive effects.

If people followed an unhealthy version of the LCD (one that emphasized unhealthy sources of macronutrients), there wasn’t a significant difference in their mortality rates compared to people who didn’t follow an LCD at all.

Overall, this study shows that for people with type 2 diabetes, following a healthy low-carbohydrate diet can have real benefits for their health and lifespan.

So if you or someone you know has type 2 diabetes, it might be worth talking to a doctor or nutritionist to see if a healthy LCD could be a good option.

The research was published in Diabetes Care and conducted by Yang Hu et al.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.