Which diet is better for people with type 2 diabetes: Keto or Mediterranean?

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When someone has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, it is important to find the right diet to help manage their condition.

There are different types of low-carbohydrate diets that people may try, but it’s still unclear which one works best.

In this study, researchers compared two low-carbohydrate diets to see how they affect blood sugar control and other health factors.

The Diets

The study involved 40 participants who had either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. They followed two diets for 12 weeks each.

The first diet was called the well-formulated ketogenic diet (WFKD), and the second diet was called the Mediterranean-plus diet (Med-Plus).

Both diets had some similarities, like including nonstarchy vegetables and avoiding added sugars and refined grains.

However, there were also differences. The Med-Plus diet included legumes, fruits, and whole, intact grains, while the WFKD avoided them.

What Was Measured

The researchers wanted to see how these diets affected blood sugar control and other factors related to heart health.

They looked at things like the participants’ glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar control.

They also looked at weight changes, insulin levels, blood glucose levels, and blood lipids (such as cholesterol and triglycerides).

The Results

After analyzing the data from the participants, the researchers found that both diets led to improvements in blood sugar control. The HbA1c levels did not differ significantly between the two diets after 12 weeks.

This means that both diets were effective in helping to control blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Other Health Factors

The researchers also looked at other health factors related to heart health. They found that triglyceride levels, which are a type of fat in the blood, decreased more in the WFKD compared to the Med-Plus diet.

However, the WFKD was associated with higher levels of LDL cholesterol, which is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol.

The Med-Plus diet led to weight loss in participants, and it also increased levels of HDL cholesterol, which is often referred to as “good” cholesterol.


In addition to looking at the health effects of the diets, the researchers also considered how sustainable they were for long-term use.

They found that the Med-Plus diet was more sustainable compared to the WFKD. This means that people may find it easier to stick with the Med-Plus diet over a longer period of time.

Both the WFKD and Med-Plus diets showed improvements in blood sugar control for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

However, the WFKD had some potential risks, such as higher LDL cholesterol levels and lower nutrient intake.

The Med-Plus diet, which included legumes, fruits, and whole, intact grains, was found to be more sustainable and maybe a better long-term option for people with these conditions.

It’s important for individuals to work with healthcare professionals to find the right diet that suits their needs and helps them manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

The study is published in JACC.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D levels linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and brown rice and white rice affect the diabetes risk differently.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about a high-protein diet linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.

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