HomeHealth ConditionsDiabetesType 2 Diabetes: Is Nutrition Therapy Better than Just Dietary Advice?

Type 2 Diabetes: Is Nutrition Therapy Better than Just Dietary Advice?

A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers compared the effect of individualized nutrition therapy that is provided by a dietitian with the effect of dietary advice from other healthcare professionals.

Nutrition therapy is considered to be an integral part of treating type 2 diabetes. It is the application of nutrition science that promotes health, peak performance as well as individual care. Moreover, this approach helps to address the nutritional balance and help support the body in maintaining health. It can be done with self-management education and physical activities. People with type 2 diabetes undergoing nutrition therapy can experience beneficial effects on weight, metabolic control, and general well-being.

Individualized Nutrition Therapy

Individualized nutrition therapy (INT) is recommended by the international guidelines for all individuals with diabetes, and this can be provided by a dietitian with specific expertise as well as skills in nutrition therapy. However, most of the patients with type 2 diabetes are receiving dietary advice from nurses or doctors instead of INT.

Comparing Nutrition Therapy and Dietary Advice

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition aimed to compare the effect of INT that is provided by a registered dietitian with the outcome of dietary advice from other healthcare professionals. The researchers, Moller et al., looked at different factors, such as glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), weight, body mass index, and LDL cholesterol.

The researchers’ results indicated that patients who received INT given by certified dietitians showed a greater improvement in HbA1c, a larger loss of weight, and a greater decline in LDL cholesterol compared to those who had a diabetes diet given by nurses and doctors.

In addition, lifestyle intervention positively impacted the HbA1ac, weight and BMI, and quality of life of the patients. This included patient education and nutrition therapy. It was also efficient when the lifestyle intervention was based on self-management strategy and included exercise. All of these were found on a number of randomized clinical trials by the researchers.  Hence, the review suggests recommending nutrition therapy to type 2 diabetic patients given by certified dietitians rather than just giving dietary advice to patients with type 2 diabetes.

Written by Alexa Deano

Reference: Møller, G., Andersen, H. K., & Snorgaard, O. (2017). A systematic review and meta-analysis of nutrition therapy compared with dietary advice in patients with type 2 diabetes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition106(6), 1394-1400.


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