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Perspectives

Diets for diabetes: a rational approach

Peter Clifton

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Abstract

Weight loss provides clear long-term benefits for glycaemic control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrate restriction by replacement with unsaturated fats and protein is one approach to diet in these patients.

Key Points

  • The diet of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has been controversial for many decades.
  • Carbohydrate restriction can help some patients with brittle type 1 diabetes.
  • Carbohydrate restriction in people with type 2 diabetes may lower triglyceride levels, increase HDL-cholesterol levels and lower HbA1c but results can be very variable.
  • Weight loss lowers HbA1c, blood pressure and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes but does not reduce heart disease and stroke over 10 years.

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