Dietary Recommendation in Diabetes Care: Carbohydrate Counting and Caloric Content of Nigerian Foods

Taoreed Azeez*, Patience Chimah, Abdul F. Hassan, Adedeji Moradeyo, Ubong Umoren and Emmanuel Eguzozie

Dietary Recommendation in Diabetes Care: Carbohydrate Counting and Caloric Content of Nigerian Foods.

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is rising globally and even more in low and middle-income countries such as Nigeria. Optimal management of the disease is important to improve survival and prevent or delay its complications. Lifestyle management is a standard universal approach in optimizing the care given to diabetic patients. Dietary management is the central link in lifestyle
modifications of individuals living with diabetes. Medical nutrition therapy is a systematic therapeutic approach of assessing the nutritional needs of an individual, determining nutritional goals, counselling the clients on how to achieve the goals, prescribing and monitoring meal plans to achieve the goals.

Healthy sources of carbohydrates available in Nigeria include whole grains and legumes. Low fat dairy foods such as milk or cheese are also recommended. As healthy as they are, studies
have demonstrated that the knowledge of the health benefits as well as the consumption of fruits and vegetables is very low among Nigerians despite the extensive availability of varieties of fruits
and vegetables.

Carbohydrate counting has beneficial effects on glycaemic control.10 It helps in determining the appropriate insulin doses to prevent fluctuating glycaemic patterns. It adds flexibility to the
management and engenders compliance. In Nigeria, more efforts are tailored towards controlling glucose excursions by appropriately adjusting insulin doses rather than teaching and practicing
carbohydrate counting. This is partly due to the fact that there are insufficient data on the carbohydrate and caloric contents of Nigerian foods and the methods of food preparation for consumption vary remarkably from one region to the other.


Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2020; 6(2): 53-59. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-6-169