Evaluating a dietary pattern in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus: The dash-d approach

Author(s): Suzanne S Summer* , Sarah C Couch , Amy S Shah , Meghan P McNeill , Abigail D Peairs

Objective: Adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) must consider multiple factors in diet planning, including glycemic control and cardiovascular disease prevention, while ensuring adequate nutrition for growth. We examined diet composition, quality, and compliance for two dietary patterns - the traditional Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and a modified version of DASH in this population.

Methods and Findings: Two feeding studies were conducted. First, adolescents with T1DM consumed their usual diet for 6 days followed by traditional DASH for 6 days. Next, DASH menus were adjusted to align with T1DM nutrition guidelines, and this modified DASH for Diabetes (DASH-D) was tested on a new group of adolescents with T1DM for 6 days, following 6 days of usual diet. Usual diet was measured via 24-hr dietary recalls. Dietary composition of DASH-D was compared to DASH and usual diet. Eighteen adolescents (9/group) participated. Compared to usual diet, intake of protein, fiber, fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy were higher, while saturated fat and added sugar were lower, in DASH-D. Percent energy from fat was higher, and from carbohydrate lower, in DASH-D versus traditional DASH, with food group intake reflecting these patterns. Participants consumed 87% of foods provided for DASH, and 98% of foods provided for DASH-D. In both DASH iterations, participants met national guidelines for fat, saturated fat, fiber, and fruit/vegetable intake, while usual diet fell short of these recommendations.

Conclusions: The novel DASH-D pattern meets guidelines and may be a viable option for achieving nutrition goals for adolescents with T1DM.

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