Diabetes diets should aim at ensuring an ideal body weight with normoglycemia and normolipidemia. The consensus recommendations of various diabetes associations suggest that these goals are most likely to be achieved by diets high in complex carbohydrates and fiber and low in fat. A typical diabetes diet containing 55–60% energy as carbohydrate (at least 66% complex), <30% energy as fat, 0.8 g.kg−1 desirable body wt.day−1 protein, and ∼40 g fiber/day, improves glycemic control, reduces levels of serum atherogenic lipids, decreases blood pressure in those with hypertension, and reduces body weight in the obese. This diet also reduces insulin requirements in the insulin-treated patient and can promote discontinuation of insulin therapy in those with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. This article presents our experience with high-fiber high-carbohydrate diets and reviews knowledge on the likely mechanisms of action of fiber, its long-term effectiveness, and the concerns about its long-term safety. We suggest that reports on the risk of hypertriglyceridemia from on the risk of hypertriglyceridemia from high-carbohydrate diets are inconsistent and invalidated if those diets are also high in fiber content. Similarly, we urge some caution in prescribing high-monounsaturated fat diets as an alternative to high-carbohydrate diets, at least until the long-term implications of the former are clearer. We believe that there is no compelling reason to change the current diabetes diets, which should continue to be high in carbohydrate and fiber content.

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