Senior citizens living with diabetes may be able to gain better blood sugar control if they employ a low-carb diet.
Duke University Medical Center researchers also found patients who followed a no-glycemic diet were able to reduce the amount of medications they took to control type 2 diabetes. And in some cases, patients were able to eliminate the medication completely, provided they remained faithful to the diet.
"Low glycemic diets are good, but our work shows a no-glycemic diet is even better at improving blood sugar control, said Dr Eric Westman, lead author in the study.
The six-month study followed 84 volunteers suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The group was randomized into two groups: one would be on a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 20 grams of carbs a day) while the other followed a low-calorie diet (500 calories a day).
Of the participants who finished the study, 95 percent of them reduced or eliminated their diabetes medication after being on the low-carbohydrate diet, compared to the 62 percent in the low calorie diet.
"It's simple. If you cut out the carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes down, and you lose weight which lowers your blood sugar even further. It's a one-two punch," said Westman.