Historical evidence demonstrates a fundamental role for dietary intake in the etiology and prevention of type 2 diabetes, and thus the global type 2 diabetes epidemic. As outlined throughout this book, the evidence base for understanding dietary intake and type 2 diabetes is extensive and growing. With this expanding foundation of knowledge it is human nature to reduce and simplify. Alternatively, there is a need to recognize the inherent complexity of dietary intake with its scores of constituents and considerations. And it is here, where dietary patterns research has developed as a tool to understanding the complicated diet-diabetes relationship. Indeed, across populations, dietary patterns have emerged sharing consistencies and many characteristics relative to etiology and prevention of type 2 diabetes. These patterns are especially significant when one considers that an overall pattern exerts itself pleiotropically on numerous pathways relevant to the etiology of type 2 diabetes, including energy balance, insulin resistance/sensitivity, glycemia, inflammation, endothelial function, etc. This chapter discusses the essential role of dietary patterns in relation to type 2 diabetes.
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© 2014 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.