On 17th April 2023, the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes published in the journal Diabetologia a new update to its 2004 recommendations. This update, under the title “Evidence-based European recommendations for the dietary management of diabetes”, advises consuming minimally processed plant foods and minimising consumption of red and processed meat, so diabetes can be better managed. Also, very low-carbohydrate diets, such as ketogenic diets, are “not recommended” due to safety concerns. The recommendations are based on new systematic reviews and meta-analyses commissioned by the group as well as available evidence. The authors say that plant-based and minimally processed foods are considered to have the “lowest environmental impact.”
The update states, “Important messages are to consume minimally processed plant foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds and non-hydrogenated non-tropical vegetable oils while minimizing the consumption of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and refined grains”. It also states that increasing the intake of fibre can improve blood glucose, cholesterol levels, and body weight, improving diabetes management. It recommends that those with diabetes should consume at least 35 grams of fibre per day.
Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, a co-author of the recommendations and the director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said, “The recommendation to consume a more plant-based diet is direly needed to avert the expected 200 million new cases of diabetes worldwide in the next 20 years. The clinical research I conduct consistently shows the benefits of a plant-based diet for preventing and improving diabetes.”
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a non-profit organization that “promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.