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Issue 92 Item 8 New Dietary Advice for Patients with Diabetes

Experts now say that monounsaturated fats, as well as carbohydrates, can be included in the diet plan of someone with diabetes, offering more variety. Research done by Dr Abhimanyu Garg and his team at the University of Texas has shown the benefits of mono-unsaturated fats on heart health. Thanks to this work, new recommendations for people with diabetes place an emphasis on fats like olive, canola and peanut oil, as well as carbohydrates. Diabetes experts now say that 60 to 70 per cent of calories should come from carbohydrates – unrefined ones if possible – and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats should account for another ten per cent, and its advised that people keep saturated fats below 10 per cent.

There’s a new emphasis on a high fiber intake, too. Dr Garg’s research has shown that people who eat 50 grams of fiber in their daily diet, from fruits and vegetables, can lower blood glucose levels by ten per cent – which has to be beneficial in terms of diabetes. Altogether the new guidelines are good news if you have diabetes, because they offer a lot more variety and interest than the old high-carbohydrate/low-fat recommendations (though that’s still considered a healthy option too).   Diabetes Care Jan 2002