(HealthDay News) — A higher-complex carbohydrate/lower-fat (CHOICE) diet significantly improves gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)-associated markers compared to the conventionally recommended low-carbohydrate/higher-fat (LC/CONV) diet, according to a small study published online July 29 in Diabetes Care.

Teri L. Hernandez, PhD, RN, from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues randomized 12 diet-controlled overweight/obese women with GDM (at 31 weeks) to an isocaloric LC/CONV (40% carbohydrate/45% fat/15% protein; six participants) or CHOICE (60%/25%/15%, respectively; six participants) diet. All meals were provided. Adipose tissue (AT) was assessed via biopsy at 37 weeks.

The researchers found that after approximately seven weeks, fasting glucose (P=0.03) and free fatty acids (P=0.06) decreased on CHOICE, whereas fasting glucose increased on LC/CONV (P=0.03). On the CHOICE diet, insulin suppression of AT lipolysis was improved, compared with LC/CONV (56 vs. 31%; P=0.005), consistent with improved insulin resistance. AT expression of multiple proinflammatory genes was lower (P<0.01) on the CHOICE diet, compared to LC/CONV. With CHOICE, infant adiposity trended lower also.

“A CHOICE diet may improve maternal IR and infant adiposity, challenging recommendations for a LC/CONV diet,” the authors write.

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