Health Watch -- Diabetes and Obesity (Part 2)

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

A lifestyle adjustment could save many Americans from disease and early death.

A new study has found half of adult Americans with diabetes are obese and that only a small percentage of adult diabetics have their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under control.

Diet plays an important role in managing diabetes. Diabetic food choices need to keep in mind both sugar and cholesterol levels. Nutrition researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have been at the forefront of studies to find the best diet for diabetics. The good news is that there are options. Previously, doctors recommended a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. While that diet is still considered good, doctors now recognize that a diet high in monounsaturated fats is also beneficial.

Dr. Abhimanyu Garg, a UT Southwestern nutrition researcher who has done extensive research on diets for diabetics, says having more of a choice makes it easier for diabetics to stick to their diets.

Dr. Garg recommends that diabetics select carbohydrates from nutrient-dense sources like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive, canola and peanut oils, and nuts, peanut butter and avocados. These should be eaten instead of saturated fats.


Feb. 2004