By following a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet, newly diagnosed diabetics may be able to postpone their need for medication.
An Italian study involved 215 sedentary overweight adults (mean age 52) newly diagnosed with type two diabetes, who were randomised to either a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean-style diet or a low-fat diet for four years. Participants received frequent counselling sessions from dieticians and kept food diaries. The results showed that, after four years, 70% of the low-fat diet group required drug treatment for their diabetes, whereas only 44% of patients following a Mediterranean-style diet needed medication. Patients in both groups lost weight and showed improvements in glycaemic control and coronary risk measures, although the improvements were greater in the Mediterranean-diet group. (Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on the need for antihyperglycemic drug therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Sep 1;151(5):306-14).