Treatment of Diabetes with Lifestyle Changes: Diet

  • Gabriele RiccardiEmail author
  • Marilena Vitale
  • Rosalba Giacco
Reference work entry
Part of the Endocrinology book series (ENDOCR)


The present chapter critically reviews scientific evidence on the impact of the diet and its components on the metabolic control, cardiovascular risk factors, and morbidity/mortality in diabetic patients.

Three main topics are included in this chapter: (1) the effects of dietary treatment on body weight control in diabetic patients; (2) the optimal dietary composition in order to achieve blood glucose control and reduce other cardiovascular risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes; (3) the effects of lifestyle modifications and dietary changes on the risk to develop type 2 diabetes.

The overall body of evidence seems to confirm the efficacy of current recommendations for diabetes management. However, although dietary strategies based on structured interventions are often successful, particularly in relation to body weight control, they are not easily applicable in clinical practice and, therefore, more feasible strategies should be identified.

In addition, further intervention studies focused on the effects of lifestyle on hard endpoints in diabetic subjects are needed to definitively prove the role of diet in the prevention of both cardiovascular and microvascular complications in these patients over and above their impact on weight reduction.


Healthy diet Diabetes Body weight control Dietary fat Fiber Glycemic index 

List of Abbreviations


Body Mass Index


Cardiovascular diseases


Diabetes Prevention Study


European Association for the Study of Diabetes


Type 2 diabetes


High density lipoprotein-cholesterol


Mediterranean diet


National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Riccardi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marilena Vitale
    • 1
  • Rosalba Giacco
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Medicine and SurgeryUniversità degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Food Science of National Research CouncilAvellinoItaly

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