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Precepts and Practice

Diet is the type of food that we eat: It has to be visually appetizing, satisfying and tempting for the taste buds, satiating to the brain and conform to the pattern of the food usually relished by the individual concerned. Only then will the individual follow the diet over a long period - life long.

Nutrition and Nutrients:The Nutrients are the components (like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements, etc.) in the diet of a person which, when present in adequate amounts, and absorbed into the system, would serve the various purposes of the body metabolism viz. growth and repair (of cells and tissue) and prevention of specific deficiency diseases (e.g. Vitamin A, Vitamin D, B-Complex factors, etc.). In addition, minerals and trace elements (Calcium, Magnesium, Chromium, Selenium, Zinc) have a complementary role in the metabolism and repair process.

Antioxidants: are now very much in focus commercially, for their role in cellular and tissue damage prevention, repair and regeneration and prevention of tissue degeneration. They include Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Folic Acid and Beta-Carotene. There is some definite evidence linking the beneficial effects of these supplements with decrease in cardiovascular disease risk, decreased HbA1c, increased insulin sensitivity, and decreased peripheral / cerebral vascular damage and retinopathy.

Principles of Clinical Nutrition in Practice
The 17th Century Edinburgh Physician William Cullen summarized this in 3 words:

REGULARITY- FLEXIBILITY- MODERATION

These principles stand good even today, in our approach to MEDICAL NUTRITION THERAPY for Diabetes.

The following are the FIVE STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL MEDICAL NUTRITION THERAPY IN DIABETES:

Assessmentof present diet - Qualitatively & Quantitatively.

Planning along with the person and the physician, a suitable diet with built-in variations and a 'Carrot & Stick' approach, taking into account the various factors like age, severity of diabetes mellitus, complications present, personal preferences and cultural habits.

Targets
a)Shortterm goalsusing medical nutrition therapy:this is where food substitutes - scientifically formulated - could play important role in achieving rapid control
b)Long term goals: to be achieved in a slow and sustained manner. Here apart from the above, periodic (3 months) meeting with doctors & diet counselor will be of considerable help in clearing many mental cobwebs from the minds of the patients. Also this is useful inmotivation and morale boosting of the patients.

AVOID THE FOLLOWING :
Food Fads*
Nutritional nonsense **
Crash Programmes
Spurious and unscientific substances, which are widely advertised in the media and sold through shady outlets

Diabetic chocolates, cakes, jams & biscuits, etc.
Food exchange charts
Glycaemic index charts

Incorporate good food culture in your family (include young and old).

Remember REGULARITY - FLEXIBILITY - MODERATION

* World review of Nutrition and Diabetics, Vol. 4.7, Pp. 1-29 (Kayer, Basel 1986)
Ed. G.H. Bowrne
** "Nutrition Education in America from Day One "

(Fredrick J. Stare, Virginia Aronson, Elieen Behan)
(Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass, U.S.A.)


Standard Diabetic Diet
Diet for patients with diabetes and renal Involvement (Nephropathy)
The right cooking medium (Oil) for Diabetic Patients.
Diet Chart - Jaundice / Cirrhosis



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