Association Between a Low-Carbohydrate Diet, Glycemic Control, and Quality of Life in Australian Adults Living With Type 1 Diabetes: A Pilot Study

Janine Paul, Rati Jani, Mark Jones, Peter Davoren, Catherine Knight-Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To examine if there is an association between a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD), glycemic control, and quality of life (QoL) in Australian adults with type 1 diabetes. Methods: This single-group, pre-post, mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) study was conducted in an outpatient tertiary hospital. Eligible participants were those aged ≥18 years, with type 1 diabetes for ≥1 year, and using multiple daily insulin injections. Participants followed a 12-week individualized LCD (<100 g/d). Daily glucose levels were monitored using a continuous glucose monitor. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and QoL were measured preintervention and postintervention. A post-hoc exploratory regression analysis determined whether changes in carbohydrate intake was associated with changes in HbA1c and QoL. Qualitative data collected postintervention explored participants’ perceptions relating to a LCD, glycemic control, and QoL. Results: Participants (n = 22) completed the 12-week LCD intervention. An LCD provided a statistically, significant improvement in HbA1c 0.83% (95% CI 0.32%-1.33%), P = .003 but did not impact QoL: estimated change 1.14 units (95% CI: −5.34 to 7.61); P = .72. The post-hoc exploratory regression analysis showed that participants with poorer baseline glycemic control were more likely to respond to an LCD resulting in significant reductions in HbA1c. Participant perceptions relating to the study variables were mixed. Conclusions: An LCD (<100 g/d) is a potentially effective and safe strategy to improve glycemic control without negatively effecting QoL in Australia adults with type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1131
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

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