A recent study looked at whether a two-day a week calorie restriction diet is comparable to daily calorie restriction and glycemic controlled diet in type 2 diabetes patients.1 It was found to be comparable. Why is this important?
Weight loss and glycemic control
Typically, weight loss and glycemic control are two foundational elements in the management of diabetes. Weight loss significantly benefits blood glucose control, as well as other metabolic markers of health in diabetics. However, the most common dietary advice given to diabetics – daily calorie restriction – is incredibly hard to follow. It is very common for individuals to not be able to sustain a daily calorie restricted diet over the long-term.
Dietary intervention & metabolic markers for diabetes
Taking this into consideration, this is looking at whether a dietary intervention – intermittent calorie restriction (or intermittent fasting) – that is known to promote weight loss, might have the same lasting benefits on metabolic markers for diabetes. Intermittent calorie restriction is much easier to adhere to. Individuals can eat a normal diet (amount) for 5 days a week, and on 2 days a week eat between 500-600 calories.
The 12-month study
The study looked at 137 individuals with type 2 diabetes. Each participant was assigned to 1 of 2 diets over the course of a 12-month period. 70 patients assigned to an intermittent calorie restriction diet (500-600 calories/day) on two nonconsecutive days with their regular diet the other five days per week and 67 patients assigned to a daily calorie restriction diet (1,200-1,500 calories/day) for 12 months. Hemoglobin A1c was the primary outcome measurement.
Conclusions of the study
The conclusions of the study was that an intermittent calorie restriction diet has no comparable difference than a daily calorie restricted diet. This means that both diets are effective and can be responsibly recommended for type 2 diabetes patients.
- Carter S, Clifton PM, Keogh JB. Effect of Intermittent Compared With Continuous Energy Restricted Diet on Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes A Randomized Noninferiority Trial. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(3):e180756. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0756
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Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia though naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.