World Diabetes Day is on 14th November each year. This year I’m doing two notes to mark this event. Last year’s note reviewed the dietary advice for diabetics issued by the UK and the US official organisations for diabetes (Ref 2). The previous year reviewed the International Diabetes Federation and its definitions of diabetes and assumed risk factors (Ref 3).
Over the past year, there has been some progress in dietary advice for diabetes. This note reviews the progress that has been made, although there is still a way to go – a longer way in some countries than others.
Diabetes Australia is the official organisation for diabetes in Australia. It is the third oldest diabetes association in the world after the UK and Portugal. It was first formed in 1937 in New South Wales. Other associations were formed in Victoria, south Australia and Tasmania. The organisations collaborated to become the Diabetes Federation of Australia with the first meeting held in 1957. The collection of organisations became the Australian Diabetes Foundation in 1983 and finally the Diabetes Australia name was adopted in 1987.
The official dietary advice from Diabetes Australia can be seen here (Ref 4). The summary is:
* Eat regular meals and spread them evenly throughout the day.
* Eat a diet lower in fat, particularly saturated fat.
* If you take insulin or diabetes tablets, you may need to have between meal snacks.
* It is important to recognise that everyone’s needs are different.
This is the usual disastrous advice. The fifth bullet, after these four, is the encouraging one – “Read our position statement on Low carb eating for people with diabetes."