Historical Background Diabetes Diet
The diet intake recommendations have changed dramatically as we learn more and more about the mechanism involved in blood glucose metabolism. I am sure it will keep changing till a 'cure' is actually found.
For modern history I will start with Allen's "starvation" diet in 1915, with low carbohydrates and high in fats. In 1927, Joslin came up with 'weighed' diet based on amount of Carbohydrates in one ounce of food. The Joslin diet itself provided:
Proteins: 16 %
In 1935, carbohydrate counting method replaced the Joslin's weighed method. Carbohydrate counting is based on a serving having 12 to 15 gram of carbohydrates. In 1989, the American Diabetes Association developed an Exchange List system (Exchange Lists for Meal Planning). Foods are categorized with similar nutrients and calories. As we learned more about glucose, the carbohydrates were further differentiated by Glycemic Index (Glucose being 100). A fine tuning to GI led to the development of Glycemic Load (amount of carbohydrate in a serving multiplied by the GI). These developments led to a belief to replace simple carbohydrates should with complex carbohydrates. This supposition is not supported by any scientific study.
During 1950s, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) started to form Nutritional diabetes therapy recommendations as a joint effort with The American Dietetic Association, and the U.S. Public Health Service. This resulted in increase of allowed allowed Carbohydrates. Finally, in 1986 a modern guideline was developed.
Carbohydrates: 55 to 60%
Protein: 12 to 20%
Fats: Less than 30%.
After 1986, the basic distribution of calories has not changed. The emphasis has shifted to the quality and types of nutrients within a given category and it was recommended to individualize diet needs based on other concerns. The 2005 USDA food guidelines are as follows.
Carbohydrates: 55% of total daily calories
Protein: 15% of total daily calories
Fat: 30% of total daily calories.
The saturated fat should not exceed 10% of the calories
Fiber: 30 grams per day.