Effective weight management in diabetes

Effective diets to help manage and maintain healthy lifestyles in patients with diabetes

When diagnosed with diabetes, patients go through many thoughts, one of the first being drug therapy. Along with drug treatment, the most important part of living a healthy life with diabetes is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Beneficial lifestyle modifications include exercise, management of comorbidities, and diet. Nobody likes the word diet because it tends to have a negative connotation. However, diabetic patients have to deal with it more often than those who are not diabetic. The problem is that there are so many diets. Which works for what you need?

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), at least 1 in 10 people have diabetes and more than 90% have type 2 diabetes. Being able to find the right diet could be life changing. By 2030, the IDF estimates that more than 600 million people will have diabetes worldwide, rising to over 750 million by 2045. These staggering numbers make it essential to find a diet to help all these patients. Due to the many diets that produce different results for patients, any study done previously is in conflict with another. This conflicting data confuses providers because they don’t know what to recommend to their patients to provide the best benefit. Not only can diets be beneficial in managing diabetes, but sometimes they can even help a patient achieve remission from type 2 diabetes.

To tackle this complex subject head-on, a team of researchers from around the world set out to re-examine past research to find the most effective dietary approach. This team was led by Professor Michael Lean from the University of Glasgow in the UK. The researchers’ goals were to find a diet to help lose weight, maintain weight loss, and achieve remission from type 2 diabetes. This research was no small feat. Throughout their study, they found that very low energy diets and dietary supplements were the most effective for type 2 diabetic patients in losing weight.

In a study by Professor Lean, DiRECT, patients achieved remission by maintaining a weight loss of 10 kilograms or 22 pounds. To conduct the previously mentioned research, Dr. Lean continued to develop his research from the DiRECT trial. He and his team supplemented this by bringing together meta-analyses of diet and weight loss in type 2 diabetes patients. They were also able to systematically review studies that included diets for remission type 2 diabetes.

Their results were somewhat unexpected but proved to be effective. The results of the analysis showed that weight loss programs that included very low energy meal replacements and infant formula were more effective and showed greater weight loss than conventional low energy diets. in energy. If the program included a total food replacement at the start of the diet, it was more effective in providing a patient with remission from type 2 diabetes. They found that a median of 54% of patients reported remission after a year. Surprisingly, research has found that high-protein, Mediterranean, vegetarian, and low-glucose diets have little to no weight loss. Professor Lean was surprised by how little evidence surrounds the popular ketogenic (low carb) diet.

There were some limitations to the research. Most of the previous studies done focused only on short-term outcomes. These short-term results are not beneficial in the grand scheme, as weight loss benefits would only come with long-term control. It is also difficult to determine the physical needs of people experiencing weight loss. As the weight begins to drop, changes may need to be made to continue the decrease. According to the researchers of this study, researchers should conduct further research to determine the long-term impacts on weight, glycemic control, clinical outcomes and complications of diabetes.

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  • There are many diets that claim to be the ones that work but have not yet been proven. The research studies that have been done previously are mostly in conflict with each other.
  • Researchers looked at many other global studies to determine the best diet for type 2 diabetes patients.
  • The results of the analysis showed that weight loss programs that included very low energy meal replacements and infant formula were more effective and showed greater weight loss than conventional low energy diets. in energy.

Churuangsuk, C., Hall, J., Reynolds, A. et al. Diets for weight management in adults with type 2 diabetes: an overview of published meta-analyses and a systematic review of trials of diets for diabetes remission. Diabetology 65, 14–36 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-021-05577-2

Lambert, Debbie. “Diabetes, weight loss and remission: which diets are the best?” Medical News TodayMed Lexicon International, November 19, 2021.

Quinnynn Champ, 2022 PharmD Candidate, South College School of Pharmacy

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