Dietary Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is on the rise.

As at 2011, 366 million people globally aged between 20 and 79 lived with the disease and the number is expected to reach 552 million by 2030 (Sami, Ansari, Butt & Ab Hamid, 2017). Typically, sedentary lifestyles and dietary habits are the primary causes of T2DM (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Therefore, it is imperative that the sick persons stick to a specific nutrition diet, to manage the disease properly.

Disease Process

People with T2DM need specialized meal plans as documented below.

Required Nutritional Items

T2DM patients need fats, proteins and fiber. Carbohydrates are also important but should be consumed in moderation. The carbohydrates should have low glycemic load and vegetables are the preferred source. Fats and proteins should also come from plants (Inzucchi & Sherwin, 2011).

Since carbohydrates are the sources of high levels of blood sugar, nutrients with low glycemic index such as fiber, vitamins and little amounts of proteins and fats offer better nutritional value. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat, fruits, vegetables, and beans take longer to digest so the body maintains steady energy (Sami, Ansari, Butt, & Ab Hamid, 2017).

Fats are also imperative but specific types are recommended to minimize adverse effects on the health of a person. For instance, animal fats can increase cardiovascular diseases but dairy meals and plant-based fats decrease. For instance, avocado and yogurt offer high nutritional value (Sami, Ansari, Butt, & Ab Hamid, 2017).

Proteins are important for T2DM patients because they create feelings of satiety so the person has little to no craving for sugar. Plants are a viable source of healthy proteins in comparison to animals. Examples include beans, eggs, fish, dairy products, and peas (Inzucchi & Sherwin, 2011).

Rationale for Dietary Inclusions

Carbohydrates are energy giving foods. Therefore, patients need them for vitality.

Fats do not increase the level of sugar in the blood but they slowdown the absorption of carbohydrates. Eating fats creates satisfaction so the person does not overeat or crave for carbohydrates ((Inzucchi & Sherwin, 2011).

People with T2DM need proteins to provide energy to their bodies. Since they have little impact on the level of sugar in their bodies, they should always be included in their daily meals (American Diabetes Association, 2016).

Patient education regarding proper nutrition based on their disease process

Patients need to focus on maintaining optimal levels of blood sugar. Therefore, besides medication, they need to eat a balanced diet. Foods that need to be eaten in large quantities include fiber, plant-based fats, and proteins (Mayo Clinic, 2018). However, carbohydrates are important but should be eaten in moderation because they are responsible for high levels of blood sugar. The plate method is a visual food plan that has proved effective when selecting foods and eating them in the right quantity (American Diabetes Association, 2016). Additionally, patients should avoid sedentary lifestyles and focus on physical exercises to maintain a healthy weight. It is also imperative to read food labels while shopping to make better choices. Monitoring sugar levels will ensure optimal levels are maintained and corrective action taken in case they reach dangerous levels (Mayo Clinic, 2018).


T2DM patients have common healthy eating patterns. It is advisable that they eat vegetables in large quantities, and limit processed sugars. Further, red meat should be avoided completely. Patients should consume carbohydrates moderately in order to maintain their blood sugars at the expected levels.


American Diabetes Association.(Sep, 2016). How to create your plate. Retrieved from

Inzucchi, S. E., & Sherwin, R. S. (2011). Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier.

Mayo Clinic.(Jan 2018). Type 2 Diabetes: Diagnosis & Treatment. Retrieved from

Sami, W., Ansari, T., Butt, N. S., & Ab Hamid, M. R. (2017). Effect of diet on type 2 diabetes mellitus: A review. International journal of health sciences, 11(2), 65.

October 13, 2023




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