Healthy eating in 2024

New DDZ study systematically investigates the role of nutrition in type 2 diabetes for the first time

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A major new study by the DDZ has shed light on the influence of diet on the management of type 2 diabetes and the prevention of complications. The review shows the positive effects of different diets - plant-based, Mediterranean, low-carbohydrate, high-protein - on cardiometabolic health in type 2 diabetes.

The team led by DDZ researchers Edyta Szczerba and Dr. Sabrina Schlesinger, Institute of Biometry and Epidemiology of the German Diabetes Center, conducted the first comprehensive umbrella review and systematically analyzed 312 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to investigate the impact of different diets and dietary factors on the management of type 2 diabetes and the prevention of complications. First author Szczerba emphasizes that nutrition plays a multifactorial role in the management of type 2 diabetes. "It's not just about energy regulation; rather, different dietary approaches, such as plant-based, Mediterranean, high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets, show positive effects on cardiometabolic health in people with type 2 diabetes," she concludes.

Key findings of the study

Diverse dietary approaches: The study identifies that different dietary approaches can go beyond pure energy regulation and provide targeted benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.

Positive effects: In addition to blood glucose control, different dietary approaches also demonstrate positive effects on cardiometabolic health, including risk of cardiovascular disease and other diabetes-related complications.

Holistic approach: The study underlines the importance of a holistic approach to nutritional counseling for people with type 2 diabetes, aiming not only at weight management but also at promoting a long-term healthy lifestyle.

"Reliable results on body weight reduction were found for energy reduction, for example through liquid meal replacements, as well as for plant-based and low-carbohydrate diets. A low-carbohydrate diet also had a positive effect on haemoglobin A1c levels and triglycerides," emphasizes Dr. Sabrina Schlesinger. Positive effects on numerous cardiovascular risk markers were also demonstrated for plant-based, Mediterranean, low-carbohydrate or high-protein diets as well as for a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Other diets, such as a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting, also reduced body weight, but the confidence in these results was lower.

Significance for practice

"The in-depth study of over 300 meta-analyses enabled us to gain systematic insights into the influence of diet in people with type 2 diabetes for the first time," says the expert. These findings also have implications for clinical practice. "These analyses show that a wide range of diets can be successful in diabetes management. Future studies are now needed to find out who benefits most from which diet in the long term in order to be able to make targeted recommendations - adapted to the individual needs and preferences of the person concerned," concludes Prof. Michael Roden, Director of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology at Düsseldorf University Hospital and Director of the DDZ.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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