Close to 415 million people in the world are living with diabetes. There are 3 types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and gestational. Type 1 is an auto-immune condition, as the antibodies tend to attack the pancreas and loses the capability of producing insulin.
The most common form of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes. It was known to be an adult-onset disease; however, in the recent past due to changing lifestyle patterns, it has been affecting overweight and obese teenagers as well. It can be controlled by following a weight management regime, proper nutrition intake based on the body’s metabolic needs and exercise.
In recent times, there has been a continuous discussion on lifestyle management. A number of latest studies emphasise that diabetes can be managed to a great degree with the right levels of nutrition and exercise. Thus, there is an urgent need for nutrition therapy, like Medical Nutrition Therapy.
It takes into consideration the right nutritional portions in a diet that needs to be consumed by diabetes patients to maintain their glucose levels.
According to a recent consensus statement issued by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), lifestyle management coupled with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) can help greatly in maintaining blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes patients.
This also includes physical activity for weight loss, psychological support and counselling for smoking cessation.
MNT aims at managing blood sugar levels along with cardiovascular risks to reduce complications in diabetes. It’s two important dimensions include dietary quality and energy restriction. In order to control glycemic levels, strategies need to be devised. Dietary Quality: Every person has a different dietary requirement based on their body type and metabolic needs.
Individualised eating patterns can help in a step towards maintaining standard blood sugar levels in the body. Recent trials have also included weight reduction as an important aspect along with dietary quality to control blood sugar level.
Energy Restriction: The ADA and EASD consensus statement also emphasised on the need for overweight and obese patients to consider food substitution that forms a part of intensive lifestyle management. This strategy is aimed at weight management programs, which when followed for a period of at least six years, have also shown signs of diabetes remission.
MNT IN INDIA India has a rich medical and health therapy legacy in the world especially due to the existence of a diverse culinary preference spread amongst geographies. To implement it for Indian geography, there is a need to carefully consider adjustments in diet, based on the regional influence of economic issues, lifestyle and agricultural preferences.
The article courtesy goes to Dr A Ramchandran, President at India Diabetes Research Foundation