Popular Diets
The Diabetes Diet

There is no one single diabetes diet...

Diabetic Diet Choices

Diabetic diet choices in popular diets

No starvation diet for these dieters.

Diabetics should discuss their individual dietary needs with a dietician or nutritionist. Even more than other dieters diabetics should understand the principles of carbohydrate counting and how a carefully chosen diet can help control blood sugar levels. Here are some general diet principles for people who suffer from diabetes.

Dietary treatment of diabetes mellitus was reportedly used in Ancient Egypt well over five thousand years ago. In more recent times Dr. Frederick Madison Allen opened the first clinic for diabetes sufferers in 1921. Part of the treatment was a starvation diet. As luck would have it, Banting and Best first treated diabetes patients with insulin in 1922. This treatment removed the need for a starvation diet. While opinions are far from unanimous, dietitians now recommend a typical healthy diet: one high in fiber, with a variety of fruit and vegetables and low in both sugar and fat, especially saturated fat.

Patients are encouraged to reduce their intake of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index such as white rice, white bread, candy, and cereal. People with hypoglycemia should always have handy food or drink that can raise their blood glucose level quickly.

The American Diabetes Association in 1994 recommended that 60-70% of caloric intake should be in the form of carbohydrates. This figure is somewhat controversial; some researchers claiming that 40% is better, while others claim benefits for a high-fiber, 75% carbohydrate diet. In general, lower carbohydrate intake leads to lower sugar levels in the blood. To reduce the impact of dietary fat dieters should substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats.

Diabetes food pyramid in popular diets

the Diabetes food pyramid.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes require insulin. Many dieticians recommend that they eat about 35 calories per kg of body weight per day (or 16 calories per pound of body weight per day). Patients with Type 2 diabetes may go on a 1500-1800 calorie per day diet to promote weight loss. The individual calorie recommendation depends on the person's age, sex, activity level, current weight, and body style.

Diabetics must pay careful attention to when they eat. Determining the time to wait between insulin injections and eating is complicated; depending in part on the type of insulin used. Many diabetics should eat some long-acting carbohydrate before going to bed to avoid night-time hypoglycemia. Please be careful before purchasing products pitched to diabetics. Some of these products are useless. Alcohol should be used in moderation.


Access our International Wine Site

Access our Italian Travel Articles Page



Return to Popular Diets Weight Loss, Nutrition, and Fitness Page