How should diet be managed in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

For most patients, the best diet is one consisting of the foods that they are currently eating. Attempts to calibrate a precise macronutrient composition of the diet to control diabetes, while time-honored, are generally not supported by the research. Caloric restriction is of first importance. After that, individual preference is reasonable.

Modest restriction of saturated fats and simple sugars is also reasonable. However, some patients have remarkable short-term success with high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets of various sorts. Therefore, the author always stresses weight management in general and is flexible regarding the precise diet that the patient consumes. Also, the practitioner should advocate a diet composed of foods that are within the financial reach and cultural milieu of the patient. For example, patients who participate in Ramadan may be at higher risk of acute diabetic complications. Although these patients do not eat during the annual observance, they should be encouraged to actively monitor their glucose, alter the dosage and timing of their medication, and seek dietary counseling and patient education to counteract any complications. [251]


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