Method: An audit of patients with NIDDM seen between May and August 2020 was conducted to compare the HbA1c values of patients who had been on a LCHF diet for 12 to 13 months with patients on a standard diabetic diet (control group) over this time. The number of anti-diabetic medications and the number of people who had a non-diabetic HbA1c (HbA1c < 6.5) were also compared between the 2 groups.
Results: There were 22 patients who adopted the LCHF eating approach and 25 patients who remained on a standard diabetic diet. Their demographics were comparable. The LCHF patients HBA1C at the start of the audit was 7.8; after 12 months it had decreased by 1.2 to 6.6. The average number of anti-diabetic medications were 1.2, and the number with a non-diabetic HbA1c increased from 5/22 (23%) to 9/22 (41%). The control groups HBA1C was 7.2 at the start of the audit; after 12 months it had increased by 0.5 to 7.7. The average number of anti-diabetic medications were 1.6, and the number with a non-diabetic HbA1c decreased from 6/25 (24%) to 5/25 (20%).
Discussion: This audit shows the benefits of implementing LCHF eating for people with NIDDM, with a difference in the HbA1c of 1.7 between the two groups after 12 months, more LCHF patients developing a non-diabetic HbA1c and requiring less anti-diabetic medications. Two possible biases are the enthusiasm by the doctor to the LCHF group and the self-selection of the LCHF group.
Implications for practice: GPs can markedly improve the diabetic control of their patients by encouraging their use of a LCHF diet.