Lower fat or carbohydrate intake can stave off diabetes, even without weight loss, new research says.
“At eight weeks, the group on the lower fat diet had significantly higher insulin secretion and better glucose tolerance and tended to have higher insulin sensitivity,” said Barbara Gower, professor in nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who led the study.
Gower says the unique aspect of this study was that the results were independent of weight loss, reports the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The participants were fed exactly the amount of food required to maintain their body weight, and the researchers took into account any minor fluctuations in body weight during analyses, according to an Alabama statement.
Results from this study suggest that those trying to minimize risk for diabetes over the long term might consider limiting their daily consumption of fat at around 27 percent of their diet.
“People find it hard to lose weight,” said Gower. “What is important about our study is that the results suggest that attention to diet quality, not quantity, can make a difference in risk for type 2 diabetes.”