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Low carb eating plan

There is not a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to making food choices. It is important that people with diabetes, and those at risk, are supported to choose the right foods, that fit their lifestyle and cultural preferences.

Any websites and apps we suggest should never replace advice from your doctor, nurse or dietician. You must always get medical help and advice for any medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment.

About low carb eating plans

  • A low-carbohydrate diet can be defined as one containing between 50g and 130g of carbs per day.
  • Low carbohydrate diets are regarded as an effective option for people with type 2 diabetes as recently updated in the Diabetes UK guidelines reiterating this recommendation (Diabetes UK 2018).
  • Dieticians in North West London have a key role to play in supporting those who decide to choose a low-carbohydrate diet to manage their nutritional needs and their type 2 diabetes.
  • If you want to try a low carbohydrate approach, an individualised plan needs to take account of different tastes, lifestyles and beliefs.
  • As a short term strategy, a low-carb diet can be effective in managing weight, improving glycaemic control and reducing cardiovascular risk to the heart and blood vessels in people with type 2 diabetes, when followed for less than 12 months.

 Is the diet safe to follow?

  • When considering a low carbohydrate diet people with diabetes who are on certain drugs including insulin should be made aware of possible side effects such as the risk of hypoglycaemia or in rare cases ketoacidosis.
  • It is important that individuals on such treatments should be supported by doctors and dietitians to manage such risks which may involve adjusting medication.
  • Make sure you get advice from your dietician or healthcare professional to ensure that your diet is nutritionally adequate and fits your lifestyle and cultural preferences.

Learn more about the Low carb programme here

The British Dietetics Association

  • Low-carbohydrate diets (defined as diets containing between 50g and 130g carbohydrate) can be effective in managing weight, improving glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes in the short term i.e. less than 12 months (Diabetes UK 2018). This is probably due to the accompanying reduction in energy (calorie) intake and subsequent weight loss (Diabetes UK 2018).
  • More research is needed to determine the effect of long-term adherence (over 12 months) to low carbohydrate diets (as defined above) on blood glucose control (and therefore control of diabetes), and also the effect on heart health in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • People with type 2 diabetes who choose to follow a low carbohydrate diet (as defined above) should be supported by a dietitian to ensure that their diet is nutritionally adequate, enjoyable and fits in with their lifestyle and cultural preferences.

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