Research Updates | Diabetes
The objective of this qualitative study was to explore patients’ understanding of carbohydrates and their beliefs around the role of carbohydrates in the dietary management of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
A one-to-one semi-structured interview was conducted with 8 Irish males and 7 females diagnosed with T2D for a mean of 10.6 years and already receiving usual care. Understanding of 3 areas of interest were examined: (1) participants' beliefs, (2) their reported behaviours and (3) advice/messages received in relation to the role of carbohydrate in the management of T2D.
Four major themes emerged:
Participants' beliefs and naive conceptual understanding of carbohydrates led to a narrow focus on sugar restriction for blood glucose control to the neglect of overall dietary balance. Education needs to place greater emphasis on the role of various types of carbohydrate foods for glycaemic control as well as on concepts of wider metabolic health.
Limitations include the small sample size and self-selection. The views of participants may not be representative of all T2D patients.