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Dietary intake influences concentrations of glucose and lipids in the blood, both of which have important health implications. Hyperglycemia in persons with diabetes often leads to symptoms that can be relieved by lowering the blood glucose concentrations. Thus, dietary changes (caloric restriction or changing the composition) may help to relieve symptoms, although drug therapy is often also needed, especially with extreme hyperglycemia. Diabetes, a disease that carries substantial morbidity from microvascular, macrovascular and nerve damage as well as higher mortality rates, is defined by hyperglycemia. Among people with diabetes, the degree of hyperglycemia accelerates the development of these complications, especially microvascular complications such as retinopa-thy and nephropathy. Among non-diabetic persons, the degree of hyperglycemia predicts subsequent development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dyslipidemia is rarely symptomatic, so the motivation for changing serum lipids by dietary or other means is for long-term prevention of diseases associated with dyslipidemia. Serum concentrations of lipids, particularly cholesterol and its low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein fractions, are related to development of cardiovascular diseases.

Because caloric intake and energy expenditure jointly determine change in body weight, dietary intake is one of the key components in the prevention or treatment of overweight or obesity, which in turn are associated with many chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the consumption of diets with favorable effects on glycemia, lipids, and body weight has the potential of improving health. Because of the increasing importance of cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in China [1], the dietary effects on cardiovascular disease are important to this nation.

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