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Halle Berry uses sugar-free low carb diet to control her diabetes: How it helps

Find out how Halle Berry stays in such great shape.
Find out how Halle Berry stays in such great shape.
Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC

Halle Berry has won the title of Most Beautiful Woman many times. But what many people don't know: She must constantly monitor her diet to control her diabetes, using a high protein low carb diet that has been shown to provide the most benefits for glycemic control and reducing cardiovascular disease risk, reported Medical Research News on July 30.

"Because I'm diabetic, I totally changed my diet and workout regimen a few years ago. I don't eat fried foods or refined sugar — only natural sugar in fruit and vegetables. And I don't eat carbs a lot," she told Woman's Day.

She enjoys fish, salads and soups as well as protein drinks and energy bars but avoids foods such as bread and pasta. Halle's high protein low carb diet "had more favorable effects on blood lipid profile, glycemic control (indicated by greater reductions in glycosylated haemoglobin – primary clinical measure of blood glucose control and the requirements for blood glucose controlling drugs) and for reducing daily blood glucose fluctuations," said Grant Brinkworth, Senior Research Scientist for CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences in South Australia.

The newest study showed that although "very low carbohydrate, high protein, high unsaturated fat diet and a high carbohydrate, low fat diet achieved similar weight loss, improvements in body composition and health risk markers," the high protein low carb diet has more advantages for those with diabetes. Moreover, other studies have shown that low carb diets trump low-fat diets for weight loss and overall health.

Researchers found a significant difference in whether study participants could reduce or even halt their diabetes medication. After 24 weeks on the high protein low carb diet, participants could lower their medication dosage and potency two-fold, reported Medscape on July 30.

However, exercise plays a key role in the improvement. "Lifestyle modification for diabetes treatment recommends both diet and exercise, and therefore, to understand the role of the dietary patterns being tested as a diabetes-management therapy, they need to be evaluated in combination with physical activity," Dr. Brinkworth said.

Halle works out with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, author of "The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, Blast Fat, and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days," according to Shape magazine. He focuses on shaping Halle's lower body by having her work only one arm or one leg at a time when strength training with dumbbells.

In addition, Halle enjoys hiking and kickboxing. Her fitness choices provide both cardiovascular benefits and toning.