Can Low-Carb Diets Lower A1C Levels in People with Type 2 Diabetes?

In summary, the 30% carbohydrate diet for 6 months led to a marked reduction in HbA1c levels, even among outpatients with severe type 2 diabetes, without insulin treatment, hospital care, or increased sulfonylureas. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is strong evidence to support the importance of diet and other lifestyle factors in preventing DM2. Very low-carb ketogenic diets were prescribed to people with diabetes even before insulin was discovered in 1921. Studies have shown that low-carb diets are safe and can help people lose weight, reduce medication doses, and even reduce diabetes remission. Low-carb diets include 130g or less of carbohydrates, while moderate-carb diets include 130g to 225g of carbohydrates.

Given the benefits of low to moderate carbohydrate diets for weight loss in general populations and for glycemic control among patients with DM2, further study of these diets among people with prediabetes and DM2 who are not currently taking glucose-lowering medications is warranted. The objective of this randomized controlled trial is to study the effect of a healthy low-carb diet implemented through behavioral intervention (four weekly one-on-one sessions, four biweekly group sessions, and three monthly group sessions) and key dietary supplementation compared to diet common in metabolism risk factors among people with HbA1c 6.0— 6.9% who do not take hypoglycemic medications. A small randomized crossover study published in the Journal of Diabetes Sciences and Technology found that, after three months, people on a modified, low-carb paleo diet experienced greater reductions in A1C, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, and weight than those who followed a traditional diet for diabetes. The ketogenic diet (“ketogenic diet” for short) is a wildcard term for any diet that pushes your body to the natural metabolic state of ketosis, which means burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.

A Randomized Pilot Trial of a Moderate Carb Diet Compared to a Very Low Carb Diet in Overweight or Obese People with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus or Prediabetes found that ideal carbohydrate intake for people living with diabetes is a somewhat controversial topic, even among those who support carbohydrate restriction. Most people will need to reduce the dose of insulin or other diabetes medications when following a low-carb diet. When tracking carbohydrate intake, experts sometimes recommend focusing on net carbs rather than the total amount of carbohydrates you eat. The Atkins diet works in several stages, and the first stage is very low in carbohydrates, and followers eat only 20 g of carbohydrates per day for two weeks. Try eating a cup of broth, a few olives, or other low-carb salty foods to compensate for the loss of sodium.

Limiting carbohydrates may have life-saving benefits for people with diabetes, but you may wonder how low it can go. Efficacy of diet can be comparable to insulin therapy.


diets can improve blood sugar control, lower medication needs, and reduce the risk of diabetic complications.