OBJECTIVE Medical nutrition therapy based on the control of the amount and distribution of carbohydrates (CHO) is the initial treatment for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), but there is a need for randomized controlled trials comparing different dietary strategies. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a low-CHO diet for the treatment of GDM would lead to a lower rate of insulin treatment with similar pregnancy outcomes compared with a control diet.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 152 women with GDM were included in this open, randomized controlled trial and assigned to follow either a diet with low-CHO content (40% of the total diet energy content as CHO) or a control diet (55% of the total diet energy content as CHO). CHO intake was assessed by 3-day food records. The main pregnancy outcomes were also assessed.
RESULTS The rate of women requiring insulin was not significantly different between the treatment groups (low CHO 54.7% vs. control 54.7%; P = 1). Daily food records confirmed a difference in the amount of CHO consumed between the groups (P = 0.0001). No differences were found in the obstetric and perinatal outcomes between the treatment groups.
CONCLUSIONS Treatment of women with GDM using a low-CHO diet did not reduce the number of women needing insulin and produced similar pregnancy outcomes. In GDM, CHO amount (40 vs. 55% of calories) did not influence insulin need or pregnancy outcomes.
- Received December 30, 2012.
- Accepted February 5, 2013.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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