A team of researchers in Japan has been studying low carbohydrate diets. In a study published in January 2014, the researchers had already found that a moderately low-carbohydrate diet is more effective than calorie restriction for improving lipid profile and blood sugar control in type-2 diabetics.
Now, in a new study, the team set out to find out whether eating a moderate low-carb diet is sustainable, effective and safe long term.
The researchers followed 200 patients with type 2 diabetes over a period of three years. They found that a moderate carbohydrate restriction (70–130 g/day) was enough to have a positive effect on the patients’ health markers, and that the diet is “highly effective, safe and sustainable”. They added that:
Over 36 months, the [moderate low carb] intervention showed sustained effectiveness (without safety concerns) in improving HbA1c, lipid profile, and liver enzymes in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes.
One of the big criticisms of low-carbohydrate diets is the claim that they are unsustainable long term, so it’s great to see teams of researchers carrying out studies to find out about the effects of following a low-carbohydrate diet over longer periods of time.