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High- and Low-Carbohydrate Diets in Diabetes Mellitus: Study of Effects on Diabetic Control, Insulin Secretion, and Blood Lipids

ROLAND L. WEINSIER, M.D., M.P.H.; ANNE SEEMAN, M.S.; M. GUILLERMO HERRERA, M.D.; JEAN-PHILLIP ASSAL, M.D.; J. STUART SOELDNER, M.D.; and RAY E. GLEASON, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: grants AM 11529-05, GM 333-13, AM 09748, and AM 04146, National Institutes of Health; the Fund for Research and Teaching, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health; and the Joslin Diabetes Foundation, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to M. Guillermo Herrera, M.D. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.


Boston, Massachusetts


Ann Intern Med. 1974;80(3):332-341. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-80-3-332
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Eighteen diabetic patients not dependent on insulin, given diets high in carbohydrate (60%, 25% fat) or relatively low in carbohydrate (40%, 45% fat), were followed for 40 weeks as outpatients in a group-oriented educational program. Diabetic control was measured by the fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels and quantitative and qualitative urine-sugar tests. Glucose-insulin relationships were evaluated by measuring fasting immunoreactive insulin levels and by intravenous and oral glucose tolerance tests and a modified insulin infusion test after each 20-week diet period. Despite the increased carbohydrate load, control of diabetes and insulin secretory capacity were maintained. Serum cholesterol values were not altered by the change in dietary fat, and the high carbohydrate intake did not increase mean levels of serum triglycerides. The data suggest a seasonal trend for both serum cholesterol and triglycerides.

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