Diabetes mellitus is a multifaceted unending disease and is a key source of death worldwide. It is responsible for more than a million amputations every year. It is anticipated that 400 million people worldwide will suffer from diabetes by 2030. The likelihood of developing diabetes depends on a blend of genetic factors, obesity, living style and environmental factors. There are two major types of diabetes: insulin dependent and insulin independent. Diabetes is diagnosed on the basis of blood glucose levels. A fasting blood sugar level between 100 and 125 mg/dl indicates the condition of prediabetes and level greater than 125 mg/dl is an indication of diabetes. A healthy eating pattern, regular physical activity, nutritional and drug therapy are the key components of diabetes management.
Diabetes mellitus is directly related to carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism. Therefore, the nutrition therapy plays an integral part in diabetes management. Nutritional therapy is suggested for all the people with Types I and II diabetes as effective component of the treatment plan. The foremost aim of the nutritional therapy is to improve overall health principally by attaining individualized glycemic,
blood pressure and lipid levels. Foods having a high glycemic index will produce a more increase in blood glucose and will lead to a faster progression to Type I diabetes. Ranges of eating patterns
(combinations of different foods and food groups) are suitable for the nutritional management of diabetes. For good health, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes and dairy products are considered a good source of carbohydrates intake as compared to intake from other carbohydrate sources. Naturally occurring fructose in foods such as fruits may result in better glycemic control. Protein intake has no significant effect on glycemic control and there is no ideal amount of protein intake. Furthermore, there is no clear confirmation of benefit from vitamin or mineral supplementation in
people with diabetes. However, the use of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA and ALA) is highly recommended for individuals with diabetes and protects against the development of Type I diabetes.
Also, the higher levels of zinc in drinking water may have protective effects against Type 1 diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes management, nutritional therapy, eating patterns in diabetes.