Diabetes and nutrition: “Treatment has changed”

Vicente Pascual Ferrer.

About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes (DM2) are obese, and reducing your weight is the main therapeutic goal. A treatment that, by the internist, until now was based on nutrient intake recommendations, however, according to the latest scientific evidence, there has been a paradigm shift towards a direct recommendation from food to consume.

“There is strong evidence on the efficacy of moderate weight loss (5-10 percent) in the prevention or delay of the progression of prediabetes to DM2. So that an adequate diet is the basis that supports the prevention and treatment of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes “, he assures Vicente Pascual Ferrer, Family physician at the Palleter Health Center and lead author of the document ‘Update on the dietary treatment of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus’.

A report jointly prepared by the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI), the Spanish Diabetes Society (SED) and the Spanish Arteriosclerosis Society (SEA) where, according to Pascual Ferrer, changes in the treatment of both pathologies are addressed from the dietary point of view. “Before, there was more talk about nutrients, lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. Now there is more talk about food as a base where different nutrients are integrated to exert their action and create an eating pattern based on the Mediterranean diet ”, assures the doctor during his intervention in the 42nd National Congress of SEMI.

Neither eggs nor dairy are bad for diabetes

“We are facing a paradigm shift, we have gone from recommending nutrients to recommending foods. For example, in the case of dairy products, they contain some nutrients that are not the most suitable, but have others in their composition that can modulate their behavior. Scientific evidence ensures that it is advisable to consume at least 2 daily servings of dairy for its richness in calcium, vitamin D and high biological quality proteins. In addition, it has been shown that its consumption is not harmful for DM2 and that the skimmed versions do not provide benefits ”.


“The new evidence in the field of nutrition emphasizes not in the consumption of nutrients, but in that of food and, above all, in that of eating patterns”


Other controversial foods are coffee and eggs. “Against the bad reputation that coffee has for diabetes, it has been seen that higher coffee consumption is linked to a lower prevalence of DM2. In addition to caffeine, it carries other polyphenols that modulate hypoglycemic peaks. So there are no sugar rises after each intake ”, explains Pascual Ferrer.

Traditionally, a restriction on the consumption of eggs has been recommended due to their high cholesterol content. However, as detailed by the specialist, they have orother nutrients that can provide benefits similar to the effect of drugs used in diabetes. “In addition, there are population monitoring studies that say that egg intake is not linked to increased vascular risk or diabetes, so that this restriction has no scientific basis,” claims the Family doctor, who recalls that the Egg is a food with a high quality protein and bioavailability.

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How can you develop the best treatment for diabetes?

Finally, the specialist wanted to recall that the document has been prepared to put “in the hands” of all doctors in Spain the update of some recommendations that constitute the substantive basis of treatment to improve glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control and reduce the high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that appears in people with DM2.

“The new evidence in the field of nutrition emphasizes not the consumption of nutrients, but the consumption of food and, above all, the eating patterns. This approximation is especially valid in people with prediabetes or DM2, since there is no evidence of the ideal percentage of calories that should come from carbohydrates, fats or proteins. Instead, there is solid evidence that plant-based dietary patterns, low in saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and sodium, with a high content of fiber, potassium and unsaturated fatty acids, are beneficial and reduce the expression of cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors ”, he concludes Paschal.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any health-related question be consulted with a healthcare professional.

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