Effect of carbohydrate counting and medical nutritional therapy on glycaemic control in Type 1 diabetic subjects: a pilot study

Diabet Med. 2010 Apr;27(4):477-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.02963.x.


Aims: The effect of a balanced, carbohydrate-counting diet on glycaemic control in Type 1 diabetic subjects is unclear. Our aim was to determine its effect in a small, pilot trial.

Methods: We randomized 256 Type 1 diabetic subjects to a Nutritional Education Programme (group A) or not (group B). Weight, body mass index, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), lipid profile, urate, creatinine, microalbuminuria and daily insulin requirements were measured at baseline and at the end of the study (9 months). During the study, the number of hypoglycaemic events (blood glucose<3.9 mmol/l) was also measured.

Results: Compared with group B, group A showed: (i) a reduction in HbA1c (group A: 7.8+/-1.3-7.4+/-0.9%; group B: 7.5+/-0.8-7.5+/-1.1%; P<0.01); (ii) less hypoglycaemic events (4% vs. 7%; P<0.05); (iii) a reduction in dose of rapid insulin analogues (23.5+/-10.9 vs. 27.7+/-17.1 IU/24 h; P=0.03). No other between-group changes were observed.

Conclusions: This study shows the importance of medical nutritional therapy on glycaemic control in Type 1 diabetic subjects.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin