Even Without Weight Loss, Exercise and Dietary Changes Improve Insulin Sensitivity

To improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, doctors will often recommend reducing body fat.

Yet a new study suggests there are health benefits to caloric restriction and exercise that may not be associated with weight loss at all.

Published in Diabetes Care, the study emphasized the fact that people who adopt both a dietary and exercise plan have better insulin sensitivity than people who choose one intervention but not the other.

A healthy weight isn't enough

According to study author Dr. Edward Weiss, from Saint Louis University, some diabetics may believe they can eat whatever they want as long as they maintain a healthy weight.

"And others have an appropriate food intake but don't exercise," Weiss said.

Dr. Weiss and his team found that exercise-induced weight loss wasn't associated with better glucoregulation - the steady balance of sugar in the body - than calorie restriction by itself.

Both interventions - diet and exercise - could provide twice the improvement in insulin sensitivity than just one approach, researchers found.

"This study says you can be healthier if you exercise and eat the right amount of food," Dr. Weiss said. "There is more to be gained by including both approaches in your life."

Source: St. Louis University

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