Why Low-Carb Diets May Not Be Best for Women with Past GDM

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Why Low-Carb Diets May Not Be Best for Women with Past GDM
Why Low-Carb Diets May Not Be Best for Women with Past GDM

(HealthDay News) — For women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD), particularly one from animal-source foods, is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a study published online Nov. 17 in Diabetes Care.

Wei Bao, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Md., and colleagues examined the long-term risk of T2DM in association with a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern. Data were collected from 4,502 women with a history of GDM who were followed from 1991 to 2011. Diet intake information was collected every four years and used to calculate overall, animal, or vegetable LCD scores, which represent adherence to dietary patterns.

The researchers identified 722 incident cases of T2DM during 68,897 person-years of follow-up. Comparing the highest with lowest quintiles, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios of T2DM were 1.36 for overall LCD score (95 percent confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.78; P = 0.003 for trend), 1.40 for animal LCD score (95 percent confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.84; P = 0.004 for trend), and 1.19 for vegetable LCD score (95 percent confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.55; P = 0.50 for trend).

"Among women with a history of GDM, a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern, particularly with high protein and fat intake mainly from animal-source foods, is associated with higher T2DM risk, whereas a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern with high protein and fat intake from plant-source foods is not significantly associated with risk of T2DM," the authors write.

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