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By Nutrition Experts


Thursday, November 15, 2012.

Black Britons suffering from type-2 diabetes can manage their symptoms through a conscientious approach to diet, new research suggests.

A study carried out at Ohio State University compared the effectiveness of mindful eating against nutrition-based guidelines to determine how they impact on weight and blood sugar levels.

Participants aged between 35 and 65 were divided into two groups, with a group of 27 adopting the mindful approach to diabetes management and 25 following traditional programmes.

A mindful approach meant candidates were advised to listen to their bodies' needs when making food choices and to limit their quantities to satisfy hunger alone.

Those on the 'Smart Choices' programme adhered to typical guidelines for diabetes patients, with each intervention involving eight weekly and two biweekly 2.5 hour sessions with trained professionals.

All the participants had been diagnosed with the disease for at least a year, exhibited a body mass index of 27 or above and had a haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) reading of at least seven per cent.

Interestingly, weight loss and HbA1c levels were similar for both groups at the six-month follow up to the study, with the 'Smart Choice' participants losing an average of six pounds, compared to 3.5 pounds for the conscientious group.

Associate professor of human nutrition Carla Miller described the differing result as "not significant when analysed statistically".

There was between a 0.7 and 0.8 per cent drop in HbA1c levels too, with Ms Miller adding: "If the reduction were sustained over time, it would mean a dramatic reduction in complications associated with diabetes."

The research, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also showed similar reduced calorie intake in both groups, who lowered their consumption of foods with a high glycemic index - which are digested rapidly and drive up blood sugar.

According to the NHS, around 90 per cent of diabetes sufferers in the UK have the type-2 form of the disease, with those overweight or obese at a greater risk.


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