A high fat diet could help to reverse kidney damage, according to researchers.
Scientists in New York studied mice with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes who had developed kidney damage.
Half the mice were put on a ketogenic diet - high in fat and low in carbohydrates - for two months.
They found that the damage caused to tubes in their kidneys by too much sugar in the blood was reversed in this group after that time.
In the UK around a third of the 2.8 million people with either type 1 or 2 diabetes go on to develop kidney damage.
However, Diabetes UK warned that it was questionable as to whether humans could follow such a diet.
The diet mimics the effect of starvation and should not be followed without first seeking medical advice.
The study findings have been published in journal PLoS ONE.
Professor Charles Mobbs, who led the research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said: "Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes.
"I certainly think it has promise, but I can't recommend it until we have done clinical trials."