Individualized medical-nutrition therapy important in diabetes

(HealthDay)—Diabetes-focused medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is fundamental to overall diabetes management and should be adapted as needed throughout life, according to a consensus report published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

Noting that strong evidence supports the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of nutrition therapy as a component of quality diabetes care, Alison B. Evert, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues reviewed the literature and developed evidence-based recommendations for nutrition therapy for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes.

The researchers note that to achieve treatment goals, adults living with type 1 or 2 diabetes should be referred to individualized, diabetes-focused MNT at diagnosis and as needed throughout life and at times of changing health status. The MNT plan should be coordinated and aligned with the overall management strategy. Macronutrient distribution should be based on individualized assessment of patients’ eating patterns and metabolic goals. Various eating patterns are acceptable for diabetes management, but all patterns should emphasize nonstarchy vegetables, minimize added sugars and refined grains, and involve choosing whole foods over processed foods. Sugar-sweetened beverages should be replaced with water as often as possible. Routine use of multivitamins or mineral supplements is not recommended without underlying deficiency.

“Nutrition therapy recommendations need to be adjusted regularly based on changes in an individual’s life circumstances, preferences, and disease course,” the authors write. “Regular follow-up with a diabetes health care provider is also critical to adjust other aspects of the treatment plan as indicated.”

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