Nutrition goals for the insulin-treated diabetic patient are based on I) the behavior changes that the individual with diabetes is willing and able to make and 2) the type of insulin program the patient is following. Goals are based on a patient's blood glucose, HbAlc, serum lipid, blood pressure, and body weight goals. The type of insulin program is also an important consideration in the development of nutrition goals and the initiation of an individualized meal plan.
Achievement of nutrition goals is measured by assessing objective outcomes, such as self-monitored blood glucose levels or changes in HbA]c and serum lipid levels, and changes in body weight and exercise habits. If diabetes management goals are not achieved, the diabetes management team then re-evaluates the plan.
The overall goal of nutrition therapy in the insulin-treated diabetic patient (as in all patients with diabetes) is to assist the patient in making diet and exercise changes to improve metabolic control of his or her disease. The specific goals of nutrition therapy are as follows (2):
• To balance food intake and activity level with insulin and oral medications, if applicable, to achieve and maintain near normal blood glucose levels
• To achieve and maintain optimal serum lipid levels
• To achieve and maintain a reasonable body weight in adults; provide adequate calories for normal growth and development in children and adolescents; and meet the increased nutritional needs of pregnancy, lactation, and illness
• To prevent and treat the acute complications of diabetes such as hypoglycemia and the long-term complications such as cardiac and renal disease
• To improve overall health through optimal nutrition
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