Put Type 2 Diabetes Into Remission With This Intermittent Fasting Diet
We've already discovered that intermittent fasting (IF)—an eating strategy where you alternate between set periods of eating and set periods of abstaining from food (i.e., fasting)—is effective at helping individuals regulate blood sugar levels and support their overall metabolic health.
While many IF benefits relevant to people with Type 2 diabetes (blood sugar balance, insulin regulation1, etc.) have been identified in previous research, few studies exist analyzing the direct effect of IF on diabetes treatment and remission—until now.
How intermittent fasting impacts Type 2 diabetes.
In a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT) from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers have discovered that an IF diet called Chinese Medical Nutrition Therapy (CMNT) helped some individuals with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) achieve remission for at least one year2! The RCT looked at participants between 38 and 72 years old diagnosed with T2D for one to 11 years.
After the three-month intervention and a three-month follow-up period, almost half (47.2%) of the CMNT diet participants achieved diabetes remission—which was defined as stable hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels less than 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) for at least three months after stopping all antidiabetic medications—while the control group only saw one participant out of 36 (2.8%) achieve remission.
After the one-year follow-up, 44.4% of CMNT diet participants achieved sustained remission. Additionally, medication costs were 77.2% lower in the CMNT group compared to the control group.
Overall, the results of the RCT demonstrate clinical efficacy in IF diets as a treatment option for Type 2 diabetes.
Other nutritional and lifestyle strategies can help you maintain healthy blood sugar balance, enhance your insulin sensitivity, and achieve optimal metabolic health—such as maintaining a balanced diet, reducing stress levels, getting deep and restful sleep, and taking a targeted supplement (see our top metabolism-supporting supplement suggestions here).
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.