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Very Low Carb Diet May Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

By March 18, 2009

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A study from Duke University, shows that a very low-carb diet (20 grams or less a day) gave participants better blood sugar control and more effective weight loss than those who followed a low-glycemic reduced calorie diet. Read more... Photo courtesy of Ali Taylor/Stock.xchng
March 19, 2009 at 9:39 am
(1) Gracie says:

This backs up what I have proven with myself. I’ve been on Atkins for just over a year, lost over 50 pounds ( 40 more to go) and my A1C went from a not so perfect 10 to 5.1. My blood glucose levels are usually in the 80′s & 90′s ( pretty much close to normal levels) and I’ve never felt this good. I’ll be eating this way forever! My diabetes is controlled by diet & exercise, and my new doctor says I’m no longer a diabetic.

March 19, 2009 at 10:56 am
(2) Vernon says:

I have problems since this is typical ‘medical’ story which I only read the highlights of it since something is said to kill you and then a month later it is going to make you live forever, I know high fiber is good for health and then the diabetic media is not so ‘sweet’ on fiber. I am not at least paranoid by measuring everything since it takes a lot of time and I am not afraid of all things which have any sugar, although I am very leary of it and I hate the high fructose corn syrup despite the commercials saying its safe, but there are times I do use it, I look for it, you likely think I should avoid it even with otherwise very safe foods. I have found if I avoid eating what I love, I will eventually go overboard with it and eat tons more. I know it sounds like this is saying if I cut out Fiber and just had more meals and ate more larger meals, then this would help me. My A1C went from 6.0 to 5.5 and that was in more than a year, and I had been adding more fiber and I was even sick too, but I am not giving up on my blood sugar no matter. I have heard of a friend whose not on the shot and his A1C went down below 5 too. I saw a box of cereal which was ‘safe’ for diabetics and it was $5 a box, I am on food stamps and I can’t afford that and this is a mail order company.

March 19, 2009 at 6:27 pm
(3) Joel says:

This also confirms my experience. I started out with an A1C of 15.5 and a Glucose reading of 548. After one year on this diet I was able to drop 160 pounds, my A1C is at 5.7 and my Glucose readings are between 85-95 on a daily basis and I also no longer have to take any diabetes meds at all. It was definitely worth the effort! I have been adding some carbs and have gained back some weight but not much and there has been no change in my good readings.

March 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(4) Shirley says:

Is there a link to information as to the exact diet that was used for the Duke University study ? Thanks !

March 19, 2009 at 8:22 pm
(5) Just me says:

Dr Richard K Bernstein has Type 1 diabetes and advoacates strongly for LC diets for all people with diabetes. He has a few great books out including “The Diabetes Solution”.
( I see someone had asked about links and studies?) Dr Bernstein has been doing this for years with himself and patients. I found his book very helpful.

March 19, 2009 at 9:22 pm
(6) Jerry says:


I read this article and I am very interested in some details. I was diagnosed May 08 with a A1c of 12.3, last test in Feb 09, my A1c is now 5.7. I am very strict with my diet and am very dedicated to my exercise program. I wasn’t reall over witht, told to loose about 15 lbs. I have list 10 so far.

However, what does a daily 20 carb per day diet menu look like, I am curious. My last visit to my Dr., I was told that if I keep up the good work, that I may be able to stop taking the 1000mg of Metforma per day.

Any suggestions what a diet plan looks like



March 20, 2009 at 12:34 am
(7) Deb Manzella RN says:

The press release didn’t give the exact diet that the participants were on, but here is a link to Duke University’s Diet and Fitness Page.


20 grams of carbs a day is very low. To get a picture of what that looks like, you can use an online tool like http://caloriecount.about.com, to log in what you eat. The site will tell you how many grams of carbs are in your food as well as your daily totals for carbs, fats, proteins, fiber, etc.

*Never start a diet program without checking with your doctor first.


March 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm
(8) Felix says:

Please, send me links to “low carb diets”.

Thank you

March 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm
(9) Felix says:

Please, send me links to “low carb diets”.

Thank you


March 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm
(10) Deb Manzella RN says:

Felix, I can do better than that. About.com has an entire guide site devoted to low carb diets. Here’s the link…

Also, keep in mind that the participants in the study engaged in regular exercise, too. Exercise does great things for lowering blood sugar and helping weight loss.

March 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(11) Alfredo says:

Please send me any information pertaining to
the mentioned low carb diet.
Many Thanks.

May 12, 2009 at 10:33 am
(12) Alex says:

OK. I honestly think no need to go as low as 20 gr of carbs a day. I am getting great results with 70-100 gr. of carbs a day and 1500-1700 Kcal diet. Mind you that 70-100 carbs are total carbs including those obtained from vegs and fruits. At any rate the paper by Dr. Westman etal was extremely useful to normalise my own glucose with DM2. However, I recon it is a personal matter and one should try him(her)self. Diabetes type 2 is such a complex thing that there are many factors influencing the glucose control and every person has a different main component contributing to hyperglucemia. It is, however worth a try to go low carb, it may work in your case as well. In my case it took a month to stabilize the Fasting BG below 100. Just use your common sense.

September 16, 2009 at 12:55 am
(13) Ed Hoffman says:

20 Grams of carbs is what the Atkins diet called for in the initial phase of the diet.
As and example a medium sized banana contains 20 grams of carbs.
Atkins lost me quite a bit of weight, but my personality changed for the worst, so I stopped the diet.

September 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm
(14) Michael says:

Ok, I agree LC works and have lost 25 lbs myself, that was before I was diagnosed with Type 2. As for Gracie and her DR saying she is no longer a diabetic, I have to say BS. Once you are diabetic, always, just that you control it now.

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