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The Paleo diet and diabetes

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Studies are inconclusive about the benefits of the Paleo diet in patients with type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by fasting hyperglycaemia as a result of insulin resistance and defects in insulin secretion. Obesity is the major risk factor for the development of the condition and a number of studies — including the Diabetes Prevention Program, the Da Qing IGT and Diabetes Study, and the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study — have shown that lifestyle modification (diet and exercise) can significantly prevent the progression of glucose intolerance (prediabetes) to diabetes by up to 58%.13 In addition, a recent study showed that a very-low-calorie diet for 8 weeks resulted in remission of type 2 diabetes for at least 6 months in 40% of the participants.4 As such, clinical guidelines prescribe lifestyle modification as first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes and indeed throughout the management of the disease process.5 Therefore, it is clear that dietary intervention is a critical component of the glucose-lowering strategy in diabetes.

The Paleolithic or hunter–gatherer diet is currently popular for weight loss, diabetes management and general wellbeing. It recommends avoidance of processed food, refined sugars, legumes, dairy, grains and cereals, and instead…