Dietary Management

C D Saudek, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA S H Oh, Johns Hopkins General Clinical Research Center, Baltimore, MD, USA

© 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The successful treatment of diabetes mellitus starts with a sound diet, although the specifics of the diet vary depending on the kind of diabetes being treated and the individual circumstances. Individualization is the hallmark of medical nutrition therapy in diabetes. Since approximately 90% of all people with diabetes have type 2, and approximately 80% of them are obese, weight reduction is often the main therapeutic goal. Many also need treatment of comorbidities such as hypertension or dyslipidemia. People with type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, usually require far more attention to exactly how much carbohydrate they ingest and exactly how their intake matches their insulin dose and activity level. In all cases, education of the patient by a trained nutritionist is essential. Diabetes is rarely well controlled unless patients have at least a basic understanding of what they should eat and why.

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