This treatment was dismissed many years ago, at least in part because of the introduction of medications that affect insulin production. In recent years, diets recommended to diabetics have been puzzlingly high-carb.
The American Diabetes Association endorsed a low-carb diet for type 2 diabetes in 2008, but recommended that a patient only do so for a year, for weight loss. This may have been out of a concern that such a diet isn't safe for a long period.
A study from Duke University Medical Center found that their low-carb participants lost almost 10 lbs. more than their calorie counting counterparts. This weight loss happened even though the low-carb folks weren't required to limit fats and proteins.
The study showed that better glycemic control came hand in hand with low-carb diets. It was found that 95.2 percent of those in the low-carb group were able to stop or cut back on their diabetes medications compared with only 62 percent of those in the low-glycemic group.
In other research from Sweden, 29 people with preexisting ischemic heart disease who also had a diagnosis or prediabetes or type 2 diabetes were evaluated. A low-carb diet brought better results than a Mediterranean diet. Blood glucose levels were improved, waist measurements shrunk to healthier levels.
A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January, 2008 had similar results to the Duke study, in terms of weight loss simply by restricting carbohydrate consumption.
People who have type 2 diabetes have two to four times the risk for stroke or heart disease than people without type 2 diabetes. High-fat diets, even those that include saturated fats were not found to be a health hazard when carbohydrate consumption was reduced.
These findings were supported by a meta-analysis in Obesity Reviews' November 2012 edition.
"Reducing carbohydrates is the obvious treatment. It was the standard approach before insulin was discovered and is, in fact, practiced with good results in many institutions. The resistance of government and private health agencies is very hard to understand," Gower said.