Diabetes UK has published new nutrition guidelines to help people with diabetes and those at risk of type 2 diabetes to better manage their diet.

The evidence-based guidelines reflect recent research advances and provide nutrition recommendations that will better enable healthcare professionals to support adults with diabetes, and those at risk of type 2 diabetes.

The updated guidelines – which are the first revision since 2011 – outline how people with type 2 diabetes might be able to achieve remission. This guidance has been added after the first year results of the DiRECT study, which found that type 2 diabetes remission can occur with significant weight loss.

The guidelines outline consistently strong evidence that suggests eating certain foods can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, can manage blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. These suggested foods include vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, fish, nuts and pulses. Eating less red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates and sugar sweetened beverages, is also recommended.

These recommended foods are usually associated with the Mediterranean-style diet, but can be adapted to take into account cultural and personal preferences. Previous recommendations had relied on more nutrients, but this food-based approach provides people at risk and with diabetes more flexibility.

Deputy Head of Care at Diabetes UK, and co-chair of the guidelines group, Douglas Twenefour, said: “There is not a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to making food choices, so these new guidelines take this into account. It is important that people with diabetes, and those at risk, are supported to choose the right foods for them to help them to achieve their specific treatment goals and improve their health and quality of life.”

Dr Pam Dyson, Research dietitian at Oxford University and co-chair of the Diabetes UK guidelines group, said: “These new guidelines support an individualised approach to managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The recommendations are more specific about clinical outcomes, so we hope they will help all people with diabetes to better understand what they can do to manage their condition. For people with Type 2 diabetes, the potential to put their condition into remission is very exciting.”

The nutrition guidelines are available to all healthcare professionals. For more information,  visit www.diabetes.org.uk/nutrition-guidelines.