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Cleve Clin J Med. 2017 Jul;84(7 Suppl 1):S4-S14. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.84.s1.02.

Diabetes with obesity--Is there an ideal diet?

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Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Director, Inpatient Diabetes Services, Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.


For individuals who are overweight or obese, weight loss is effective in preventing and improving the management of type 2 diabetes. Together with other lifestyle factors like exercise and behavior modification, diet plays a central role in achieving weight loss. Diets vary based on the type and amount of carbohydrate, fat, and protein consumed to meet daily caloric intake goals. A number of popular diets are reviewed as well as studies evaluating the effect of various diets on weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors. Current trends favor the low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index, Mediterranean, and very-low-calorie diets. However, no optimal dietary strategy exists for patients with obesity and diabetes, and more research is needed. Given the wide range of dietary choices, the best diet is one that achieves the best adherence based on the patient's dietary preferences, energy needs, and health status.

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