RSSNutritional therapy for diabetes: One size does not fit all

Posted on Sat, 19 Oct 13

Nutritional therapy for diabetes: One size does not fit all

The new nutritional guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) focus on several possible eating patterns and food preferences, avoiding a particular dietary prescription, and in fact not even mentioning the word diet.

In a press release the ADA said, “the 2013 statement provides a set of recommendations based on review of recent scientific evidence. It calls for all adults diagnosed with diabetes to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods in appropriate portion sizes as part of an eating plan that takes into account individual preferences, culture, religious beliefs, traditions and metabolic goals.”

“Since people eat food and not single nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fat, the report includes a new section on eating patterns” state the ADA.

While previous guidelines have focused on target amounts, the new guidelines focus on dietary quality not quantity, for example emphasizing healthy types of fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and carbohydrate (vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes) rather than target intakes.

Evidence for popular dietary approaches such as the Mediterranean style, vegetarian, low fat, low carbohydrate, and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) are reviewed but no specific recommendation is made. "Personal preferences (e.g., tradition, culture, religion, health beliefs and goals, economics) and metabolic goals should be considered when recommending one eating pattern over another" states the report.

The guidelines also highlight the importance of regular contact with a nutrition health care professional to help set personalized goals based on metabolic markers, such as blood glucose or body weight, and highly individualize a food plan that suits their unique situation and needs while developing strategies that help maintain healthy eating and lifestyle changes in the long-term.

Download the guidelines (free): LINK


1. Evert AB, Boucher JL, Cypress M, Dunbar SA, Franz MJ, Mayer-Davis EJ, Neumiller JJ, Nwankwo R, Verdi CL, Urbanski P, Yancy WS Jr. Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults With Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct 9. [Epub ahead of print]

2. ADA. Press release: American Diabetes Association Releases New Nutritional Guidelines.

Tags: Diabetes

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