THE BEST diet for weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes has been revealed by experts.
They reviewed a dozen studies to compare popular diets that have all been promoted to help diabetics drop the pounds.
Weight loss is hugely beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes because it can make their condition more manageable.
It may also reduce the risks of potentially deadly complications.
It is usually obesity that causes the onset of type 2 diabetes in the first place.
On the other hand, losing a substantial amount of weight, around 15kg if you are obese, could put the type 2 diabetes into remission, Diabetes UK says.
It removes abnormal body fat from the liver and pancreas, helping to restore organ function and allow insulin to work better.
Regardless of type 2 diabetes, losing weight can also make you feel energised, sleep better, get active and have a better mood.
Knowing the importance of weight loss for those with type 2 diabetes, researchers led by the University of Glasgow wanted to conclude the most effective way of doing it, publishing their findings in the journal Diabetologia.
They considered low-calorie diets, low-carb, high-protein, vegetarian, Mediterranean, high healthy-fat and low GI foods diets.
The only one the researchers praised was a low-calorie diet made of between 500 to 1,500 calories per day.
It may come as no suprise that cutting calories very low leads to weight loss.
But the analysis suggested it was a liquid-based diet – with shakes and soups as opposed to food – that worked best for weight loss leading to remission.
The best formula was meal replacement liquids of 800 calories a day for 12 weeks, followed by a high carb low-fat diet combined with some shakes and soups.
The researchers said: “Very low energy diets and formula meal replacement appear the most effective approaches, generally providing less energy than self-administered food-based diets.”
No other diet was found to support weight loss for those with type 2 diabetes – even common low-carbohydrate or Mediterranean strategies.
People using these diets saw no more than 2kg of weight.
It suggested there was no point in cutting out entire food groups to lose weight, and rather reducing portion sizes generally was the way forward.
Dr Lucy Chambers, Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, said the study “answers important questions”.
It also supported findings from the charity’s own research – that low calorie diets for 12 weeks have the best success rates.
The DiRECT study, funded by Diabetes UK, showed a low calorie diet can help a quarter of type 2 diabetes patients lose 15kg or more of weight, and put 86 per cent of those into remission.
The results of the trial mean the NHS is now trialling it across the UK.
Dr Chambers said: “Diets that focus on reducing calories, such as low-calorie meal replacement diets, rather than reducing intake of certain nutrients or foods groups, such as carbohydrates, were found to give people with type 2 diabetes the best chance of losing weight and going into remission.
“Even a small amount of weight loss can have a really positive impact on health and wellbeing.
“It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all ‘diet for diabetes’.
“Low-calorie diets can be challenging, and if you have type 2 diabetes and want to lose weight, getting support from a healthcare professional can help you find an approach that is safe and works for you.”
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?