Objective: To compare the effects of a 1-year intervention with a low-carbohydrate and a low-fat diet on weight loss and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Research design and methods: This study is a randomized clinical trial of 105 overweight adults with type 2 diabetes. Primary outcomes were weight and A1C. Secondary outcomes included blood pressure and lipids. Outcome measures were obtained at 3, 6, and 12 months.
Results: The greatest reduction in weight and A1C occurred within the first 3 months. Weight loss occurred faster in the low-carbohydrate group than in the low-fat group (P = 0.005), but at 1 year a similar 3.4% weight reduction was seen in both dietary groups. There was no significant change in A1C in either group at 1 year. There was no change in blood pressure, but a greater increase in HDL was observed in the low-carbohydrate group (P = 0.002).
Conclusions: Among patients with type 2 diabetes, after 1 year a low-carbohydrate diet had effects on weight and A1C similar to those seen with a low-fat diet. There was no significant effect on blood pressure, but the low-carbohydrate diet produced a greater increase in HDL cholesterol.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00795691.