Among diabetics, sustained benefits are achievable when choosing to follow key anti-aging tenets in dietary choices and physical activity. Osama Hamdy, from the Joslin Clinic (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues enrolled 141 patients with diabetes — 127 with type 2 diabetes and 14 patients with type 1 diabetes. Average patient age was 53 and mean time from diagnosis was about 9.5 years; the average baseline weight of the participants was 240 pounds. The supervised lifestyle modification program included an interdisciplinary team that involved a diabetologist, a registered dietitian, a clinical exercise physiologist and a psychologist. The dietary intervention gave patients a choice of 15 dinner meals, two meal replacements, and snacks designed to meet the clinic’s nutritional guidelines for diabetics — a diet plan that included 40% to 45% carbohydrates, 20% to 30% protein, and less than 35% fat. The researchers also put the patients through a structured strength and cardiovascular exercise program that gradually increased activity. For the first four sessions, patients were encouraged to exercise 20 to 40 minutes four days a week; during the next four the exercise prescription was increased to 40 to 45 minutes five days a week; and in the final four sessions patients were told to exercise 50 to 60 minutes six days a week. The patients also attended weekly teaching and behavioral support sessions. At the 12-week program’s end, participants were instructed to follow the same plan on their own. Those subjects with a mean glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of 7.6% at the study’s start were able to lower the level 6.6% after the 12-week program, and keep it at 7% after three years. As well, the team reported that subjects experienced an average weight loss after 12-week study of 24.1 pounds.
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