Lifestyle Change in Type II Diabetes Treatment - Nutrition and Physical Activity
Diabetes mellitus, and certain chronic diseases sharing the same risk factors have become a global health problem. Patient education, medical nutrition therapy and exercise are fundamental components of diabetes treatment, and lifestyle change was emphasized in recent years. It has been suggested that diabetes can be prevented or delayed by 44-58% with healthy lifestyle change alone. For a lifestyle change in terms of nutrition, American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended: (1) the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrates (not to be less than 130 g/d), and (2) reducing the dietary fats (saturated fat intake should be less than 7% of calories, minimal intakes of trans-fatty acids, and cholesterol intake less than 200 mg/d), as well as the consumption of lean protein sources such as poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. They also emphasized that fiber intake should be at least 14 g per 1000 kcal, dietary sodium and alcohol intake should be reduced, and intakes of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products should be encouraged. Exercise is also one of the cornerstones of lifestyle modification. Individual characteristics should be considered for every diabetic patient during exercise planning. Although the type and the intensity of exercise may vary between individuals, aiming for a total of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week was recommended as an ideal exercise program. American Diabetes Association guidelines have also reported that resistance exercises (at least 2 times per week, 2-to 4 sets and 8-to10 repeats) in addition to aerobic exercises are highly effective on blood glucose regulation. It should be kept in mind that an appropriate dietary plan accompanied by an exercise program will increase the success of the treatment in diabetic patients.