According to a new study by researchers examining whether a calorie-restrictive diet can extend the human lifespan, both diet and exercise provide profound benefits to reduce the risk of diabetes.
The researchers, who initially thought that exercise would produce greater benefits, examined 50 to 60 year olds whose body mass index was between 23 and 30 (at the high end of normal weight or overweight, but not obese).
The scientists were looking at diabetes development because the disease is one of the main causes of premature death.
The study participants were divided into groups and treated with either an exercise regimen or a calorie-restricted diet. All participants had their insulin action and glucose tolerance evaluated at the beginning and end of the study.
The ultimate goal of the diet group was to cut the number of calories they ate by 20 percent, while the exercise group was charged with burning 20 percent more of their calories.
Glucose tolerance and insulin levels improved to roughly the same degree in both the dieters and exercisers. Both groups also lost weight.
I've found it very interesting reviewing the number of reports that have surfaced over the past two years attempting to determine whether diet or exercise works better. I have always argued that this is not a fair question as they each are vitally important, and it will be very difficult, if not impossible in many cases, to control diabetes without using both.
It's especially interesting to me that the fitness experts who created the regimen for the exercising group prescribed 90 minutes of daily exercise, a typical treatment dosage that shows how effective treating exercise like a drug can be.
I wonder, however, if the diet group would've performed better still, had they modified their eating habits according to their body's unique nutritional type.
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