Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most important public health challenges in the world. Its increasing prevalence in many countries and the difficult metabolic control of patients with type 2 DM justify the study of strategies for primary prevention. The present review describes evidence from epidemiologic studies and clinical trials regarding recommendations for dietary prevention of type 2 DM. Prospective epidemiologic studies have provided support for a role of individual dietary components in determining the development of DM independent of obesity and other lifestyle factors. Several prevention trials have demonstrated that intensive diet and lifestyle interventions substantially reduced risk of type 2 DM in high risk populations. Recent evidence suggests that less-intensive nutritional counseling and lifestyle programs are also effective in reducing diabetes risk factors at the primary health care settings.
Keywords: Type 2 diabetes prevention, nutritional counseling, lifestyle intervention