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What’s next? - the evidence
This guide is written by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD, Jill Wallentin, Dr. Bret Scher, MD and was last updated on March 27, 2023.
All our evidence-based health guides are written or reviewed by medical doctors who are experts on the topic. To stay unbiased we show no ads, sell no physical products, and take no money from the industry. We're fully funded by the people, via an optional membership. Most information at Diet Doctor is free forever.
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The idea that fewer carbs is usually more effective for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal is mainly based on the consistent experience of experienced practitioners, and stories from people trying different levels of carb restriction [weak evidence]
The only intervention study – to our knowledge – that compared different levels of carb restriction was a small trial that found trends towards greater weight loss and greater improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors as carb intake went lower.
PeerJ 2019: Low-carbohydrate diets differing in carbohydrate restriction improve cardiometabolic and anthropometric markers in healthy adults: a randomised clinical trial [moderate evidence]
The lower the carb intake, the more glycemic control appears to improve:
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2008: Restricted-carbohydrate diets in patients with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis [moderate evidence, downgraded as it’s comparing effects between different low-carb trials. There is no RCT comparing low carb to lower carb.]