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Many With Type 2 Not Meeting Dietary Recommendations

Diane Fennell

September 11, 2009

Many people with Type 2 diabetes are not meeting important dietary recommendations and could benefit from ongoing nutritional counseling and education, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Researchers used a detailed questionnaire to assess the typical food intake of 2,757 people with Type 2 diabetes to see what dietary factors might be contributing to overweight in this population. Participants’ diets were evaluated based on factors such as fat, sodium, and fiber intake and fruit and vegetable consumption.

The results indicated that 93% of people in the study were exceeding the recommended daily percentage of calories from fat, 92% were eating too much sodium, and 85% were consuming more saturated fat than advised. Moreover, less than half of the participants were meeting the minimum recommended intakes for fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and grains. Dietary practices such as limiting saturated fat and sodium intake and maintaining a high intake of fruits and vegetables have been shown to protect against heart disease, the leading cause of death in people with Type 2 diabetes.

According to lead study author Mara Z. Vitolins, DrPH, MPH, RD, “The most important thing about controlling diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, is being able to manage energy in and energy out, and the best way to do that is through the diet… Day to day, the foods [people with Type 2 diabetes] are eating should be considered a vital part of their treatment.”

For more information about the study, read “People With Type 2 Diabetes Not Meeting Important Nutritional Recommendations” or see the study’s abstract in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. And to learn more about maintaining a healthful diet, head over to MyPyramid.gov or check out the “Nutrition and Meal Planning” section of DiabetesSelfManagement.com.

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