Summary of the American Diabetes Association (ADA)

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018

Position Paper on the Nutrition Therapy for Management of Adults with Diabetes


Evert AB, Boucher JL, Cypress M, Dunbar SA, Franz MJ, Mayer-Davis EJ, Neumiller JJ, Nwankwo R, Verdi CL, Urbanski P, Yancy WS Jr. Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2013 Nov;36(11):3821-42. doi: 10.2337/dc13-2042. Epub 2013 Oct 9. Link to PubMed

The ADA recently published a position paper on how to manage individuals living with diabetes in terms of nutrition interventions, stating that there is no standard meal plan that works universally for all people with diabetes. In general, diabetic patients are recommended to collaborate with their health care provider to develop an individualized eating plan.

ADA’s general position on nutrition interventions for individuals with diabetes:

•    Eating pattern with potential benefit:

Type of eating pattern Brief description Benefit
Mediterranean style
  • Includes abundant plant foods
  • Minimize processed foods
  • Olive oil as the principal source of dietary lipids
  • Dairy products and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts
  • Red meat consumed in low frequency and amount
Improved cardiovascular
risk factors (lipids, blood
pressure, triglycerides) in individuals with diabetes.


•    Recommended foods or nutrients intakes

Foods / Nutrients Recommendations
Dietary fiber - 25 g/day for adult women
- 38 g/day for adult men
Whole grains Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains
Fish Consume at least 2 servings per week
Omega-3 fatty acids Increase consumption of foods containing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and omega-3 linolenic acid
Saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and trans fat - Reducing saturated fatty acids to < 10% of calories
- < 300 mg of cholesterol/day
- Limiting trans fat as much as possible
Sodium - Less than 2,300 mg/day


Additional reading:

WNA Bulletin 2013 Issue 4 – All About Diabetes

•    Roles of early nutrition and dairy intakes, management guidelines and list of superfoods



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