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Nutr Hosp. 2017 Feb 1;34(1):224-234. doi: 10.20960/nh.999.

Diets low in carbohydrates for type 2 diabetics. Systematic review

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad de Granada. Granada.


in English, Spanish


In general it has been recommended to people with diabetes to follow a low-carb diet. However, diets low in carbohydrates (DLCH) seem to be, at least, just as effective as low-fat, even providing better results in some cases in terms of glycemic control, decreased body weight and improves markers of cardiovascular risk. Objetives: To analyze the effect of the DLCH with respect to a low-fat diet (LFD) or other, as to baseline blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), body weight, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.


Literature Search of studies published in Medline, Scopus, Cinahl, Lilacs, Dialnet, Scielo and ProQuest. We extracted data on the composition of the diets evaluated, duration, and changes with respect to baseline blood glucose, HbA1c, body weight, cholesterol, and triglycerides.


We included 15 studies in the review found one of them significant differences between groups in levels of fasting glucose, in 6 in terms of HbA1c and 3 in terms of body weight. With regard to the levels of blood lipid, are not found in any study, significant differences between groups in regard to total cholesterol, while it is found in three studies with regard to the levels of triglycerides.


This review shows that the DLCH can be effective in some aspects such as the reduction of HbA1c, body weight or triglyceride, although there is sufficient evidence to support its long term use over other diets, which requires more future research.

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