(HealthDay News) — While the Keto and Mediterranean diets both can help people manage diabetes, the Mediterranean diet appears easier to maintain, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues performed a small randomized, crossover trial to compare 2 low-carbohydrate diets with 3 key similarities (incorporating nonstarchy vegetables and avoiding added sugars and refined grains) and 3 key differences (incorporating versus avoiding legumes, fruits, and whole, intact grains) for their effects on glucose control and cardiometabolic risk factors among 33 individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

The researchers reported that glycated hemoglobin values did not differ between diets at 12 weeks. There was a greater decrease observed in triglycerides with the well-formulated ketogenic diet (WFKD; −16%) versus the Mediterranean-plus diet (Med-Plus; −5%). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was higher for the WFKD (+10%) versus Med-Plus (−5%); high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased 11 and 7%, respectively. Weight decreased 8 and 7%, respectively; however, there was a significant interaction seen for diet × order. While on the WFKD, participants had lower intakes of fiber and 3 nutrients versus the Med-Plus. Follow-up data suggest the Med-Plus is more sustainable.


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“Restricting added sugars and refined grains and emphasizing the inclusion of vegetables should be the focus,” Gardner said in a statement. “There’s no reason to restrict heart-healthy, quality carbohydrate foods above and beyond.”

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