Composition of macronutrients in the diabetic diet

Authors: Zdeněk Rušavý;  Michal Žourek
Authors‘ workplace: I. interní klinika LF UK a FN Plzeň
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2016; 62(Suppl 4): 94-99
Category: Reviews


The diabetic diet is one of the pillars of diabetes treatment. The rapid development of knowledge relating to the treatment of diabetes also includes diet. The paper focuses on the importance of a diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and prevention of atherosclerosis. Its main goal is to assess the impact of a composition of macronutrients on individuals with type 2 diabetes. The paper is divided into several parts, each of which ends with a conclusion. The first part examines weight reduction. The diet aimed at a weight loss is effective, it can effectively prevent diabetes, it leads to improvements in glucose control and reduction of the risk factors for atherosclerosis, however it will not impact on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality until after more than 20 years. The second part deals with “healthy” foods. The studies exploring this area are not convincing. The only really rational component of food in relation to atherosclerosis is dietary fibres. Important is a balanced diet combined with regular physical activities. The third part focuses on the composition of macronutrients. It turns out that, considering a low-calorie diet, the effects of high- and low-carbohydrate diets on people with diabetes are similar with regard to weight loss and lowering of HbA1c, however the low-carbohydrate diet is associated with lower glycemic variability and a reduced need for anti-diabetic drugs. We do not know how the comparison of the two extreme diets would come out regarding individuals with a high energy diet. Currently it is useful to focus on the quality of individual macronutrients. Choose foods containing carbohydrates with a low glycemic index and high fibre foods, prefer fats that contain a low proportion of saturated fatty acids. The fourth part discusses the recent recommendation of the Czech Diabetes Society regarding the composition of macronutrients in the diabetic diet. As compared with the diet proposed earlier, lower intake of fibre-rich carbohydrates and higher intake of proteins and fats with a low content of saturated fatty acids is now recommended. Experts’ recommendations on this subject are included.

Key words:
atherosclerosis – diabetic diet – HbA1c – macronutrients – low-carbohydrate diet – obesity – dietary fibres – high-carbohydrate diet – health food


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Diabetology Endocrinology Internal medicine

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