To derive macronutrient recommendations for remission and prevention of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Asian Indians using a data-driven optimization approach.


Dietary, behavioral, and demographic assessments were performed on 18,090 adults participating in the nationally representative, population-based Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study. Fasting and 2-h postglucose challenge capillary blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were estimated. With HbA1c as the outcome, a linear regression model was first obtained for various glycemic categories: newly diagnosed diabetes (NDD), prediabetes (PD), and normal glucose tolerance (NGT). Macronutrient recommendations were formulated as a constrained quadratic programming problem (QPP) to compute optimal macronutrient compositions that would reduce the sum of the difference between the estimated HbA1c from the linear regression model and the targets for remission (6.4% for NDD and 5.6% for PD) and prevention of progression to T2D in PD and NGT groups.


Four macronutrient recommendations (%E- Energy) emerged for 1) diabetes remission in NDD: carbohydrate, 49–54%; protein, 19–20%; and fat, 21–26%; 2) PD remission to NGT: carbohydrate, 50–56%; protein,18–20%; fat, 21–27%; 3 and 4) prevention of progression to T2D in PD and NGT: carbohydrate, 54–57% and 56–60%; protein, 16–20% and 14–17%, respectively; and fat 20–24% for PD and NGT.


We recommend reduction in carbohydrates (%E) and an increase in protein (%E) for both T2D remission and for prevention of progression to T2D in PD and NGT groups. Our results underline the need for new dietary guidelines that recommend appropriate changes in macronutrient composition for reducing the burden due to diabetes in South Asia.

Clinical trial reg. no. CTRI/2019/03/018095, http://ctri.nic.in/Clinicaltrials/login.php

See accompanying article, p. 2811.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.20383599.


A complete list of members of the ICMR-INDIAB Collaborative Study Group can be found in supplementary material.

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