Diabete e alimentazione, consigli della nutrizionista

Diabetes and nutrition

Apr 15, 2023Redazione

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia , i.e. high blood sugar levels, due to an alteration in insulin activity. There are different types of diabetes:

- Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) is characterized by a lack of insulin production as a result of an autoimmune phenomenon. The onset is typical of childhood and adolescence, but can be diagnosed at any age.

- Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is caused by the body's ineffective use of insulin and is often undetected and/or associated with harmful lifestyles that lead to excess body weight and physical inactivity.

- Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a condition of hyperglycemia that is first recognized during pregnancy.

- Other specific types include DM caused by genetic defects (MODY), diseases of the exocrine pancreas (pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis), endocrinopathies (acromegaly, Cushing's, glucagonoma, pheochromocytoma, hyperthyroidism), drugs and/or toxic substances (nicotinic acid , glucocorticoids, thiazides, protease inhibitors) and trauma.

The key role of nutrition in case of diabetes has been widely confirmed.

There is no unique and equal dietary protocol for all patients: personalization through an expert nutritionist is therefore essential. It must be carried out on the basis of individual needs, physical activity, concomitant pathologies, hormonal balance, daily life and habits, personal tastes, stress and relationship with food.


For proper diabetes management it is essential to adjust the diet in order to improve blood tests.

1. Balance nutrients well in meals (include proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibers at each meal).

2. Consume sources of slowly absorbed carbohydrates/sugars rich in fiber (e.g. bread, pasta, wholemeal flours and cereals, legumes).

3. Limit rapidly absorbed carbohydrates/sugars that quickly raise blood sugar (e.g. sweets, sugar, fruit, honey, jams, soft drinks).

4. Consume large portions of vegetables at the beginning of each meal .

5. Prefer lean and conscious sources of protein (free-range white meat, blue fish, light dairy products, organic egg whites).

6. Use "good" fats as condiments: the best is extra virgin olive oil.

7. Severely limit alcohol .

8. Use spices and aromatic herbs to flavor foods and do not use too much salt.

9. Often vary food choices, preferring local and seasonal products.

10. Eat consciously without excesses and maintain an adequate body weight ! It should also be remembered that diet is only part of the cure but can contribute to a marked improvement in symptoms and quality of life.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not eaten well.” Virginia Woolf

Dr. Elisa Rosso, Dietitian

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