Newer concepts regarding the management of diabetes favor a diet that is more liberal in carbohydrate content and more personalized for the patient. Ideally, the end result will be improved glycemic control and fewer complications. Allowing more flexibility in the diet is a way of fostering better patient compliance. Alcohol, for example, which is frequently disallowed, can safely be included in the diet of many diabetic patients who desire a drink with meals, provided that certain guidelines are followed. Dietary substitutions can be made with relative ease. Although there are contraindications to its use by certain people, alcohol in moderation does not appear to compromise carbohydrate homeostasis in most individuals and, if early studies are confirmed, could possibly have some beneficial side-effects. More open discussion of alcohol use with patients is needed to give them the know-how to alter their diets and to inform them of the necessary precautions.

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