This study reinforces what has previously been well known- ie that benefits of a healthy lifestyle should not be ignored, despite recent discoveries of newer anti-diabetic drugs.
All diabetic should understand that lifestyle changes are essential in the management of diabetes. In the long run, patients are much better off if the dietary advice they receive is more along the lines of a Mediterranean diet.
However, even though the results of the above study are great, one has to be practical. The patients in the above study received intense nutritional support for a long time, something that is not normally available or affordable by most patients in North America. In the study, dietictans and nutritionists frequently emphasized diet and lifestyle changes. Whether similar advice from physicians only will deliver such good results remains to be seen.
There is little doubt that the role of diet and lifestyles can have a marked improvement in diabetics. All diabetics need to know about portion amounts (supersize is out), nutritional values of whole foods and role of exercise. Perhaps with this news, health care professionals will start to be more forceful and reinforce benefits of lifestyle and diet.
For the most part, health care workers have always emphasized medical therapy alone as a key to success. With this study comes an important reminder. Patient management is a complex synergistic interaction between medical therapy and life style changes. Both need to be emphasized to achieve the best results.