Increased reliance on drugs to treat type 2 diabetes has shifted attention away from lifestyle changes -- particularly nutritional recommendations and exercise programs, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Yet controlling food intake and exercising remain important ways to help maintain near-normal blood glucose levels as well as achieving desirable weight, optimal lipid levels, and improved physical condition.
The AACE offers these suggestions for food intake:
- 55-60% of total calories from carbohydrates
- A maximum of 30% of calories from fat; lower (15%) in people who are overweight or have high lipid levels
- 10-20% of calories from protein; if the patient has microalbuminuria (evidence of early kidney disease), then animal protein should be decreased and total protein kept to 10-15% of calories
The AACE also notes that the key is caloric intake relative to caloric output. Even without losing any weight, eating a diet that produces a negative caloric balance - that is, when more calories are burned than are consumed - can decrease insulin resistance and thereby improve blood glucose levels.
Diabetes and diet
Source: The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Medical Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes Mellitus: The AACE System of Intensive Diabetes Self-Management, 2000 Update.