Dietary Therapy of Diabetes Mellitus

  • Gladys Witt Strain


When a new diagnosis of diabetes is established, among the first stressful thoughts experienced by patients are concerns that they will not be able to eat foods they prefer and that their way of living will be compromised. Lifestyle, exercise habits and food preferences must be changed and individual choices will be limited. A patient newly diagnosed with diabetes fears that if certain changes do not occur, he or she will not be able to control blood sugar and he/she will be at risk for the host of complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes. However, the seldom publicized fact is that a person with diabetes should be eating basically similar to all other persons, according to the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for all Americans, 2000.1 These guidelines do not impose a foreboding protocol, but advise how everyone should be eating to consume the nutrients required by the human body and to avoid the weight related illnesses.2,3 “Healthy eating” and working toward an optimal life style is being encouraged. No longer should a “diabetic diet” or an American Diabetes Association diet (ADA diet) be prescribed by a physician. Rather, it is recommended that a diet prescription be based on careful assessment of food preferences, eating habits and other life style factors. This may require certain expertise that is often beyond the nutrition training of the medical practitioner and can also consume costly medical practice time. In consultation with the patient, a registered dietitian can develop recommendations that are attainable and consistent with reasonable treatment goals.


Glycemic Control American Diabetes Association Carbohydrate Intake Dietary Guideline Meal Plan 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

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  • Gladys Witt Strain

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