New research points to nutritional education and dietary changes as best treatment for diabetes, rather than just prescription medication according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine held free nutrition classes in their offices after working hours for groups of their diabetes patients and saw surprising results.
Although the patients already had their diabetes under control due to initial treatments, after the study had concluded the patients made improvements upon their blood-sugar levels, cholesterol levels and weight.
Coupled with the nutritional classes were dietary changes, of which two proved most effective, one was a a low-fat, vegetable-based diet and the other a portion-controlled, meal-based diet.
“Doctors can turn their waiting rooms into classrooms. It’s simple and very effective,” says study author Neal Barnard, M.D. “Patients learn about healthy food changes, and can share tips, swap recipe ideas, and work through challenges together.”
“Being in a class with other people who have the same goals has kept me on track,” notes one study participant. “Nutrition is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against diabetes,” adds Dr. Barnard. “This study shows that even clinicians who are pressed for time can harness that power by offering group instruction to their patients.”
Read the full study here