A recent national study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes (ICMR–INDIAB) based on 18,090 adults has shown that moderate dietary changes can lead to diabetes remission and prevention. The study using a linear regression model and quadratic programming, revealed that if the carbohydrate content of the Indian diet can be brought down to 49 to 54 percent and the protein increase to 19 to 20 percent, and fat maintained from around 21 to 26 percent, diabetes remission can be achieved.
For prevention of progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes, the carbohydrate content of 54-57 percent, protein of 16-20 percent and fat of 20-24 percent would suffice, the study revealed. The findings of the study were publised in Diabetes Care Journal last week.
In India, the prevalence of diabetes in India is rapidly escalating, with 74 million people in the country estimated to have diabetes, and over 80 million having pre-diabetes.
“Unlike previous studies which have recommended a very low (near zero) carbohydrate intake which is unsustainable in the Indian context, our results show that even a modest reduction in carbohydrate intake with an increase in protein, along with healthy fats, can help to both reverse diabetes as well as prevent its progression,” Dr R M Anjana, Vice-President, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF), first author of the study said in a statement on Friday.
Earlier studies have shown that excess carbohydrates in the diet (polished white rice in the South and East, and refined wheat in the North and West of India) contribute to increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. The diet of most Indians consists of about 65 to 70 percent carbohydrate, with very little protein.
“Using mathematical modeling, we were able to predict both remission and prevention of diabetes at a population level using the ICMR-INDIAB diet data,” Dr. Seshadri Srinivasan, Kalasalingam Academy of Research, who carried out the quadratic programming problem (QPP), stated on Friday.
The ICMR-INDIAB study which was carried out in the whole country, and included data from 29 States and 2 Union Territories, is the largest epidemiological study on diabetes done in India.