Recently, there has been a number of different types of diets that diabetics can use to improve their own level of health and prevent disease complications. Some of these strategies have received particular endorsement from various health groups or associations; others have not. With so many approaches available with many purporting their own unique and potential benefits to the diabetic patient, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding the best method with which to approach this rather complicated issue.
However, at this point, some new evidence has emerged that may provide some clarity for all of this confusion.
According to a new study, a diet plan consisting of pre-packaged foods including various types of meal plans, recipes, and access to a counselor was more effective at getting diabetic patients to lose weight compared to a standardized diet. In addition, the folks who participated in the commercial diet plan had better blood sugar readings after a one-year period.
The study recruited 227 subjects who were classified as being obese, overweight, and suffering from type 2 diabetes. These participants were placed randomly into three groups: group one received weight loss counseling, a standard diet, and monthly follow-up visits; group two received a low-fat commercial diet plan; and the last group was given a low-carbohydrate commercial diet plan. The folks in the commercial weight loss plan groups also received meal plans, information regarding physical activity, and frequent personalized counseling sessions.
The results of this study indicated that after one year in the program, approximately 40% of the subjects in the commercial weight loss plan groups lost at least 10% of their starting weight, compared to nine percent of those participants who had received the standardized care. However, the most important feature of this study indicated that 72% of the participants in the commercial weight loss plan groups who previously needed to take insulin before a meal no longer needed to do so after one year in the study! Only eight percent of the subjects in the group that received regular care saw the same result.
What about the differences between the two groups that received the commercial weight loss treatments? The group that was using the low-carb formula experienced better blood sugar control contrasted with the subjects using the low-fat diet plan. However, when it came to the amount of weight lost, there were no significant differences experienced by either group.
So what can be concluded from this information?
Well, it has been known for some time now that calorie-reduced, commercial diet plans can work very well because they also involve a social structure, support mechanisms, convenience, and adequate follow-ups.
In my opinion, this is the reason why these types of diet plans work better compared to the standardized care model.
The standardized model of care for diabetic patients is woefully inadequate in order to account for the needs of these patients; they need much more than just a simple diet plan and a few sessions with a dietician. They need a supportive network, personalized treatment, coaching, and encouragement to be more physically active and to improve their lifestyle. They need to be empowered! That’s the key to weight loss and the fight against diabetes and obesity—personal empowerment.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Seaman, A.M., “Weight loss plan better than usual diet for diabetes patients,” Reuters Health web site, April 23, 2014; http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/us-weight-loss-idUSBREA3M1PE20140423.
Rock, C.L., et al., “Weight Loss, Glycemic Control, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Response to Differential Diet Composition in a Weight Loss Program in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Diabetes Care, April 23, 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24760261.