Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to eat when you are managing a health condition. That’s often true for people with diabetes, since what they eat can affect their blood sugar levels. In many cases, education is key to making it easier to manage a special diet. The more you know, the more control you have over your condition! I often work with clients who identify with this problem, and maybe you do too. Whether you are dealing with a new diagnosis or are not sure what to eat for disease management, this year’s Nutrition Month 2017 campaign has a solution. Plug your problem into their three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food. Here’s an example of how it works.
Eric has type 2 diabetes. He was struggling when making food choices because he was unsure how certain foods affected his blood sugar levels. He particularly had trouble when eating at restaurants or in a food court.
Spot the problem: Eric has diabetes, and is overwhelmed by everyday food decisions at home or when eating out.
Get the facts: To learn more about diabetes, Eric started his research on the Canadian Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes.ca. He learned that he can live a long and healthy life by managing his diabetes, which includes:
Being physically active
Monitoring blood sugar levels
Taking medications as prescribed
Keeping blood sugar levels in the target range set with his health care team.
When he was first diagnosed, Eric didn’t seek any nutrition advice for diabetes because he was afraid it meant giving up foods he loved. But as he reads more about nutrition and diabetes, he understands that a dietitian can help him fit his favourite foods into his eating routine. There are no foods that are completely off-limits, but portion control is important.
To his relief, Eric finds out that planning meals doesn’t need to be complicated. Following a few basic tips may be all he needs. He reads about the “Plate Method” as a practical way to figure out portion sizes and food choices when eating at home or dining out. His plate should look like this:
He was not eating many vegetables, and didn’t know that half his plate should include his favourites, like carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and cauliflower. He will put more veggies into his diet by whipping up some recipes like:
He will also download the Cookspiration app with 48 newly added recipes for Nutrition Month, and try all of the 12 feature recipes at www.nutritionmonth2017.ca
Seek support: After getting the facts from www.diabetes.ca, Thomas is curious to learn more from a dietitian. He already has a doctor, but since most diabetes care plans include a team approach, he will work with a dietitian too. He can find a dietitian at a local diabetes clinic or by contacting his local Fernie dietitian at Peak Nutrition Consulting. Thomas learns that he can also call the Canadian Diabetes Association at 1-800-BANTING (226- 8464) to ask questions about diabetes and get support.
Do you have a food fight that you struggle with? Try the three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food and make your commitment official at www.nutritionmonth2017.ca. If you want to get the facts from a dietitian, you can book an appointment with your local Fernie dietitian Tiffany today!
Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.