A diabetic diet is a diet that is used by people with diabetes mellitus or high blood glucose to minimize symptoms and dangerous consequences of the disease.
Since carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose levels most significantly, the greatest debate is how low in carbohydrates the diet should be. This is because although lowering carbohydrate intake will help reduce blood glucose levels, a low-carbohydrate diet conflicts with the traditional establishment view that carbohydrates should be the main source of calories. Recommendations of the fraction of total calories to be obtained from carbohydrate are generally in the range of 20% to 45%, but recommendations can vary as widely as from 16% to 75%.
For overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes, any weight-loss diet that the person will adhere to and achieve weight loss on is at least partly effective.
The most agreed-upon recommendation is for the diet to be low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, while relatively high in dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber. People with diabetes are also encouraged to eat small frequent meals a day. Likewise, people with diabetes may be encouraged to reduce their intake of carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index (GI), although this is also controversial. (In cases of hypoglycemia, they are advised to have food or drink that can raise blood glucose quickly, such as a sugary sports drink, followed by a long-acting carbohydrate (such as rye bread) to prevent risk of further hypoglycemia.) Others question the usefulness of the glycemic index and recommend high-GI foods like potatoes and rice. It has been claimed that oleic acid has a slight advantage over linoleic acid in reducing plasma glucose.
Coming soon – a directory of Diabetic Diet resources