Diabetes and Nutrition

Taking care of your nutrition is the first step towards management of diabetes. However, many misconceptions exist concerning nutrition and diabetes.

Historically, the nutritional recommendations for diabetes and its related complications were based on scientific knowledge, clinical experience and expert consensus. However, it was difficult to verify and discern the source of the evidence used to construct these recommendations. The available evidence has to take into account an individual’s circumstances, liking, and cultural preferences. A nutritional plan must be made in consultation with the diabetic patient i.e. the patient must be a part of the decision making process. The objective of using evidence-based recommendations is to improve diabetes care by creating awareness among clinicians and persons with diabetes about the beneficial effects of nutrition based therapies.

Because of the complexity of nutrition based issues, it is recommended that a registered dietitian plan out your diet. We, at Lifespan, have knowledgeable and skilled dietitians who would assist you in implementing an efficient nutrition therapy that would help you manage your diabetes.

Goals of medical nutrition therapy for a diabetic:

1. Try to maintain an optimal metabolic outcome including:

  1. Normal or near normal blood glucose levels which will prevent or reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes.
  2. Normal or near normal lipid and lipoprotein profile which will minimize the risk of macrovascular disease.
  3. Aim for well controlled blood pressure levels to reduce the risk for vascular disease.

2. Prevention and treatment of chronic complications of diabetes. Modification of nutrient intake and lifestyle is necessary for the prevention and treatment of obesity, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and nephropathy.

3. Improvement in health by consistently making healthy food choices and performing moderate physical activity

4. Address individual nutritional needs taking into consideration personal and cultural preferences and lifestyle.