New Evidence Supports Extreme Carbohydrate Restriction in Type 2 Diabetes

Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash With Meat Sauce

Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance. Doesn’t that suggest to you that diabetics should reduce or avoid dietary carbohydrates?

The new study at hand was done in Indiana, involving 262 folks with type 2 diabetes. Characteristics of the study subjects:

  • average age 54
  • 66% women
  • BMI 41 (very fat)
  • average Hemoglobin A1c 7.6%

The authors don’t use the term “ketogenic diet,” preferring instead “a diet designed to induce nutritional ketosis” (I’m paraphrasing). For most folks, that’s a diet with under 30 grams of carbohydrate daily, according to the researchers. The study lasted for only 10 weeks.

The drop-out rate was about 10% (25 participants), which is not bad.


  • Hemoglobin A1c (a test of diabetes control) dropped to 6.5%, a move in the right direction and equivalent or better than that seen with many diabetes drugs.
  • Average weight loss was 7.2% of initial body weight.
  • No severe symptomatic hypoglycemic events.
  • Number and dose of necessary diabetes drugs were reduced “substantially.”

What’s not to love? Why isn’t this the standard of care?

Click the link below to look for details of the Virta Clinic program used in this study.

I put together a Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet for my patients with diabetes. It reduces dietary carbs to 20-30 grams/day. There’s a free version, but consider the low-cost version that includes recipes and extensive initiation and management advice.

Steve Parker, M.D.

McKenzie AL, Hallberg SJ, Creighton BC, Volk BM, Link TM, Abner MK, Glon RM, McCarter JP, Volek JS, Phinney SD
A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
JMIR Diabetes 2017;2(1):e5
DOI: 10.2196/diabetes.6981

low-carb mediterranean diet

Front cover of book


Filed under Carbohydrate, Drugs for Diabetes, Weight Loss

7 responses to “New Evidence Supports Extreme Carbohydrate Restriction in Type 2 Diabetes

  1. james w snell

    Amen, Dr. Parker, right on the money. Thank you for sharing! This is data from University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. When is the rest of Medical Science going to recognize that the hunter gatherer body is not an infinite energy dump for unused-unburnt energy nee glucose and the end result is type 2 diabetes and excessive glucose in the blood core system. There is no overflow control system that enables throwing excess glucose over the side. In fact it is too damn efficient for this time and age retaining glucose/energy like kidneys recycling glucose from urine back to blood system. For me after 30 years plus; it was tight 1200 calories diet, reducing carbs – sugars, grains, etc and metformin to tell Liver to shut the hell up and stop releasing excess glucose!

  2. Charles Grashow

    How come you never do a blog post showing similar results with high carb low fat diets??

    • I’ve mentioned the Ma Pi 2 diet before, if not in a post then in comments. Neil Barnard covers that territory.

      • charles grashow

        Actually I was the one who mentioned it in a comment. So you’re admitting that you cherry pick studies that agree with LCHF and ignore studies that do not?? Is that not a disservice to your readers?

  3. “A Novel Intervention” … isn’t it amazing that in their minds no one has thought of this before!

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